Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lifestyle: Mixtape Festival 2013

As summer comes to an end and we say goodbye to the month of August, I started to think back on all of the fun things I did and saw this summer. I shared several pictures in a couple of my "Life Lately" posts, but I realized that I never shared with you all the details of my trip to the VH1 Mixtape Festival in Hershey Park, PA.

I've been to a couple of concerts in my time, but never one that was a festival of sorts with multiple headline-worthy acts. My sister, Marci, is a Hanson fan and when she found out that they would be in nearby Hershey Park as part of this festival she immediately bought tickets. I am typically her Hanson concert partner so when she asked me if I wanted to go, I agreed. In fact, I guess you could say I'm a Hanson fan too. I have a lot of respect for them; They've handled their fame (and money) far more responsibly than most child stars, they are true to who they are, working hard and even starting their own record label when others wanted them to conform, and most importantly, they are extremely talented!

When Marci found out they were offering upgraded "VIP" tickets, she decided that this may be her one chance to finally meet the man of her dreams, the one she's been pining over for 15 years, Taylor Hanson. (That's not even an exaggeration) So she upgraded our tickets as a birthday gift of sorts to me and we were ready for our big day.

The festival was actually a two day event, but we opted for only the first day. Money doesn't grow on trees people! Our line-up was as follows: Serena Ryder, Hanson, Gavin DeGraw, The Script, One Republic, and Train. And with our upgraded VIP tickets we had access to air-conditioned bathrooms, a pre-concert picnic, a VIP tent where VH1 was doing band interviews, we got to see a private acoustic concert by Hanson, and they had a photo booth and was pretty sweet. Oh, and we had some pretty close seats for the main event!

Marci (top) and I both got to meet Taylor Hanson at the VIP BBQ meet and greet before the private concert in the tent and then the full concert after that. Marci was starstruck so I made sure I told him how long she'd been waiting to meet him...and then he asked if I'd been waiting even longer, inferring that I'm the older sister. I kindly let him know I was the younger, bigger sister. :)

Next up - private concert by Hanson in the VIP tent. There were literally only three people in front of me!

Photo booth fun with Marci and some of the friends we made in the VIP tent!

Hanson on the big stage!

Train - incredible live. Sounded just like the radio :)

Special guest, Ashley Monroe, joined Pat M. from Train to sing their new single, Bruises. My favorite!

I honestly wasn't sure what all The Script sang, but once I heard their songs, I recognized almost all of them. Really great stage presence and performance as well. Representing from Ireland!

Sorry about the angle, but this is Gavin DeGraw performing. A surprising amount of swag on this fella!

One Republic put on a great show too. Their entire band is crazy good!

Did you make it to any concerts or festivals this summer? Who was your favorite performer? I can't thank Marci enough for her persistence in wanting to upgrade to the VIP tickets. I'm not sure I'll be able to go back to the "normal" concert experiences after this!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Living Room Reveal!

After lots of deliberating and hours of hard work, we have finally finished our living room makeover. Though the room wasn't horrible before, it didn't reflect our style as a couple in the slightest. Once Farmer Bubba and I decided it was time to tackle the cottage and finally make it our own, we thought we'd start with the living room. This is the one room in the house that won't be affected when we add up and redesign the rest of the house to make it more functional. Before we get started, here is a little reminder of what the living room looked like before:


One day, while browsing my all-time favorite blog, The Lettered Cottage, I saw a post about using shutters on your interior windows. It was a great idea and a jumping off point for our living room. It was the one element I KNEW I wanted to use. We have a long bay of four windows across one wall that provides an incredible view up the Potomac River looking towards Virginia, but they let in A LOT of light and specifically, heat. So the interior shutters were a great solution for style and function, keeping out the heat and prying eyes when necessary.

My next hurdle was figuring out what color I wanted to paint the walls. I tend to get overwhelmed when making decisions, especially one with SO many options. I was having a hard time getting out of "neutral land" with creamy whites and light grays, but nothing really jumped out at me once I had it on the wall. During a quick visit from my mom, I mentioned how I love dark blue and turquoise colors and she encouraged me to go for it. And she had a point, the house is full of old baseboards, window and door trim painted white. Not to mention with all the windows and high ceilings we have quite a bit of light to work with. I was hoping the blue color I chose would make the white trim "pop"...and boy was I right!

So, without further adieu, here is the new and improved Point Breeze Cottage living room:

View of the entire room - from the kitchen/back of the house looking towards the front. Front wall - "Desert Fortress" Side walls - "Swizzle Stick". We also painted the overhang where the air ducts are white to match the ceiling. It really opened it up!

View from the front door. Sitting area in the front, TV area in the back.
Sitting area - I found ALL of the pillows for the living room in one trip to Marshall's! It was totally my lucky day!

One of my favorite displays in the room. Top shelf of the book cabinet - memories of our honeymoon in Kauai, Hawaii! aka - Heaven on Earth! Cannot wait to go back, hopefully in the near future. (Thanks to my mom for the Anniversary gift/decoupaged serving tray with Hawaiian postcards!)

Another display atop the electric fireplace. Something to represent Farmer Bubba - Four generations of Hill men, a tobacco knife and spear-head, tobacco basket and dried leaves, and a couple of other farm related trinkets. PS- check out the pretty wildflowers from our garden in the backyard!

View from the front of the house, looking at the bedroom doors and old library ladder that leads to the loft.

Ahhh, my beautiful interior shutters and shades!! I was planning to make my own shades/curtains, but I found a GREAT deal on these at Lowes and they brought just the right amount of nautical to the room!
The bay of windows with the shutters closed and the shades down.
A special gift from my mom - a touch of "bling" to bring a little Mindy to the room.
On the top of the TV cabinet I decided to bring a touch of my family's watermen roots to the room. The beautiful, hand-carved Heron was a wedding gift from Bubba's close friend and talented artist, Tommy Deagle.

There is nothing quite like a Southern Maryland Blue Crab :)
I've noticed how trendy antlers are becoming in home decor. Lucky for me, I have a husband with a garage FULL of antler sheds he finds in the woods during hunting season. And it brings a little bit of his style to the room :)

Another shot of the antlers on the coffee table. Can you tell I read a lot of Coastal Living?! 

New slip cover from Ikea for the couch - perfect! We were also able to reuse a rug we had in the living room previously.

A couple of aerial shots from the loft. 
Again, from the loft. You can really see how great the floors look from this angle! I know the rug is too small, but it is serving its purpose until we can afford a larger one. It was on clearance at Marshall's and is softer than anything else in the house...Harper loves it!

AND we're beagle approved!

Thanks for taking a look at our new living room. I really am so pleased with the way everything turned out, and owe so much of the credit to my handy husband and helpful grandfather. Without them, I'd still probably be painting right now!

Have you made over a room in your house lately? What was your favorite part of the process? For me, it was the fact that we were able to "re-use" so much. The love-seat in the sitting area, round table behind the love seat, old mirror on the wall and the TV cabinet were left with the house when we purchased it. The recliner and book shelf/cabinet were hand-me-downs from family members, the coffee table, table by the bedroom doors and small bench under the front windows were yard sale finds, and the fireplace and clear lamp were gifts from my parents. Even a lot of our decor pieces, like the antlers, tobacco basket and leaves, and binoculars were pieces we had from everyday life.

This makeover was quick and mostly painless, and I loved every minute of it! Now, to get rolling on some more projects...

Monday, August 26, 2013

Living Room Reveal TOMORROW!

I finally made time to take some photos of our newly redecorated living room this weekend. And I can't wait to show them to you. But for now I'm going to leave you with a sneaky-peek. If you follow me on twitter (@ptbreezecottage) you may have already seen this, but for the rest of you, here you are:

Yay! It's killing me not to show off the entire thing right now, but you know what they say...Good things come to those who wait!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Renovation Inspiration

I love HGTV. Like really, truly love it. They are the one company I don't mind getting daily, marketing emails from. While trying to clean out my inbox, I stumbled upon my daily HGTV Inspiration email with the title, "You Won't Believe This Amazing Beach House Remodel", so naturally I gave it a click and found a very inspiring remodel project.

Everything this family did was just so beautiful. It does, however, make me glad that our "remodel" isn't so extensive. Our former landlord and owner of the house had it completely remodeled in the early 2000's. Even with the full house remodel, it still left us with a lot to be desired in order to make it "our own", which is why we're on the journey we're on.

ANYWAY - check out this beautiful beach house remodel from for a little beachfront inspiration!

They went from this: 



To this:


And can you just imagine sitting in these chairs and decompressing after a long day? Ahhh...


Be sure to check out the entire photo gallery by clicking any of the SOURCE links above! Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sneak Peek! Interior Shutters

We finally finished putting up our interior shutters and new shades in the living room last night after a few small set backs. [I need to have a few words with FedEx...throwing my packages over my fence and into my yard, in the rain, when I have a perfectly good and protected front porch is pretty frustrating] Anyway, after returning our broken shades to Lowes and getting replacements, which they thankfully had in stock, we were able to get rolling.

But first, I wanted to share a couple of "Life Lately" pictures with you. Sometimes life takes the reigns and my poor little blog ends up on the back I figured I could at least show you what has been taking up my time!

We spent the weekend with these four adorable chaps! Our 3 nephews and niece:

Owning the runway...I mean beach...
So so so cute!

And here are a couple of "pretties" from around the cottage:

Sunrise over the Potomac River

Evening sky - looking towards Virginia

More beauties from the wildflower garden!

Ok - don't judge my photography skills based on this sneak peek of the Interior Shutters and Shades...I took it on my cell phone at 6:15am this morning on the way out the doors. I was just too excited about them to wait. This is just to give you a quick peek at how our living room is coming along. :) I am finally seeing it all come together! Now, we need to find a rug, coffee table and a little more "decor"...

Please ignore the throw pillows that don't match the new couch or room AT ALL.
They will be removed once I find proper replacements!

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Fresh, New Look

As I mentioned in my previous post, we started our living room makeover last week, beginning with the walls and the floors. Since Bubba and I both work full time during the week, we called in some serious reinforcements to help us speed up the painting process. This guy (on the left):

Meet Pa, my retired, expert carpenter/painter/handyman extraordinaire grandfather. He is beyond precise and is always willing to lend a helping hand when we need it. 

We placed the painters tape and picked up where he left off once we got  home from work, so it made for a REALLY fast paint job. If you follow me on twitter (@PtBreezeCottage) you got to see a little sneak peek of the wall color. I haven't taken any pictures of JUST the walls or the paint job, but you will be able to see a little glimpse in the photos below.

Not only did Pa help us out with the paint job, but he also stuck around over the weekend to help Bubba lay our new flooring. Now; some people may think it seems odd to cover up original, hardwood floors with laminate Swiftlock flooring from Lowes, but we needed to. We think that the original floors that we had/have are actually the sub-flooring from the original 1929 house. Which is really cool and true to the house, but it's also really hard on our electric bill in both the summer and winter. Did I mention that we also had grass growing up through the living room floor once? Yeah...the joys of having an old house on piers instead of a foundation and sub-flooring with little to no insulation under it. It was only a matter of time before one of us fell through the weak spots in the living room.

The original floor:

Not terrible, and very "rustic", but it just wasn't working for us. So we went to Lowes, purchased some lovely Fireside Oak laminate, and got down to business.

The original flooring side-by-side with the new laminate. Affordable and efficient!

The new floor:
Don't mind the beagle-cat on the couch. She was feeling mighty displaced during all of this work!

I'm so happy with the way it turned out, just beautiful! Oh and did you notice the "Swizzle Stick" blue and "Desert Fortress" wall colors?!  Once we've got the room back in order, our new slip cover and window treatments up, I'll be glad to show some more revealing photos ;o)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Living Room Makeover - The Beginning

As I mentioned recently in my "Living Room Inspiration" post, I've been putting a lot of serious thought into a makeover for our living room. Here is a little back-story as to why:

Before we purchased this beautiful, old 1929 cottage, we rented it. One of the conditions of renting was that it was almost fully furnished. At the time, this sounded like the perfect deal seeing as I'd just graduated from college and really didn't own anything of my own anyway. And it's not that the style of the house (specifically the living room) wasn't nice, it just wasn't MY style. But while we rented I dealt with it...beggars can't be choosers, right? Right. Then we purchased the house, and our former landlord left several pieces, which we're very thankful for, but again, they just aren't our style.

So, it's just over two years since we've purchased the house and we've gotten rid of most of the furniture that she left, but the house still just doesn't seem "homey" our like it's "ours". Every time I see that yellowish orange paint in the living room, I think of the former landlord. Again, not that it's a bad thing, it's just not right for us. Everything I've used to decorate the living room up until this point has had to work around the wall color. I just couldn't make anything work with the golden tone except reds, greens, and a little blue. It was hard to get out of that color scheme and see any other possibilities.

After a trip to Lowes with my mom, I shared with her that I'd been holding on to a color pallet sample book since about 2009, but I wasn't sure if the dark blues and turquoise would be "too much". She encouraged me to go with what I love, and the more I thought about it, the more I agreed. Our house has LOTS of beautiful white trim along the baseboards, windows, and a loft just off the living room. If anything could hold up against a dark blue, it would be the white accents.

We are currently in the process of getting the living room painted, but I wanted to share some "before" photos with you first. Take a look at what we're working with. Then go check out my "living room inspiration" board on Pinterest and let me know how you think it will turn out! Any suggestions? Advice? Leave a comment, I'd love to get your feedback.

View from the kitchen looking towards the front of the house (living room).

View from the front door looking back. The "living room" is actually quite big and pretty much doubles as a dining room.

From the front corner, a view of the raised ceiling and loft. Lots of white trim, doors, etc.
Looking at the living room from the bedrooms - please try to ignore the MESS! We were prepping for taping/painting.

Second view from the bedrooms, just more inclusive of the side of the house/bay of windows.

I think this room is screaming for some cohesion and style - Goodbye strange, golden, impossible to work with colored paint!