Back in January we shared the first steps we were taking to properly restore our original plaster walls. Today we have part one (of a two part) update on our progress.

In true Alex form, this project has stretched on and on, taking far longer than any reasonable project timeline should. I spent the lull between activity doing what I do best, obsessing about the work we were doing and how to make the end result the best it could be while essentially paralyzing myself from making headway. But as we're finally nearing the conclusion, I'm extremely excited to share some major advances in taking our walls from damaged and dingy...

...to crisp and limie.

This whole endeavor started last year when we realized many of the walls in our historic weekend home were actually drywall applied over top of original rough finish plaster.

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Today my most legit phobia in life came into play begging the question, does anyone want to buy a beautiful historic waterfront home on over an acre of land? What's driven me to this point? There's just one GIANT slithering detail!

Our home has a lovely fenced in courtyard with a perfect spot for relaxing around the fire pit.

And the sun rise views over the water are nothing short of breathtaking.

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It seems 2016 is flying by in the blink of an eye. And while I haven't been writing many decor posts, that doesn't mean I haven't been working on some exciting decor projects. 

While 2016 may have started out on a bit of a low, there have been a lot of things I've really enjoyed doing. Today I want to fill you in on both my rough start to the year, and also one very fun project.

This past January I kicked off the year with planned surgery on my left hip. It makes me feel decidedly old to announce (and live through) this, but I actually had the same surgery on my right hip in January 2015, so I knew what to expect. More specifically, I had the understanding I'd need to be almost completely off my feet for a full month. 

If you've ever been essentially bed bound and recovering for an extended period of time, you understand that it is a challenging time having to rely on the help of your significant other, family, or friends. I felt like a burden and was frustrated by how much I had to rely on the kindness of everyone to do routine things. I did keep myself busy binge watching Gilmore Girls (every season, every episode, every.single.one, Go Team Luke!), eating all of the delicious things that so many wonderful people brought as gifts, planning the projects I wanted to tackle once I could walk again, and making my way through several coloring books. Luckily, I had a steady stream of visitors and almost constant companionship from my dependable feline and canine compatriots, which also kept me entertained.

In addition to the activities I already mentioned, I was also working on a project with HGTV Magazine! Back in December, while I was completely dreading the downtime I knew I'd have in January, I received an email from HGTV Magazine about a project they had in mind. They wanted to work with me to create a room design for the winner of a promotional sweepstakes they launched with Diet Coke. 

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I couldn't believe it when I looked at the calendar last week. I noticed that our blog was about to turn five years old!

A few days later Facebook's "On This Day" feature did what it does best and led me on a nice walk down memory lane by showing me the post where we asked our friends to "like" our blog's new Facebook Page so that we'd be able to get the required 25 likes to obtain a "vanity" url for the page (www.facebook.com/oldtownhome/). 

From those early days of blogging until today, five years later, we sure have had a wonderful experience! Looking back on the last five years it's hard to wrap our arms around the amount of effort we've put into writing and editing blog posts, taking photos, doing work on house projects, and just thinking about what we wanted to write about. I can still vividly remember sitting at our outdoor table getting ready to hit publish on our first post and wondering what the future would bring. 

Since that first time we hit publish until today we've posted over 900 individual blog posts with more than 11,000 comments and even more photos! Along the way we've met some really wonderful people, made a lot of great new friends, been featured in various publications, briefly appeared on a television show, been randomly recognized while on vacation, had our home featured on the cover of one of our favorite magazines...

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There are few things more satisfying than combining a design decision with a great deal!

Back in late March I excitedly shared our plans for a large outdoor entertaining area on our home's side porch along with the dining table we purchased on a trip out to Lucketts. 

I was beyond excited that we were able to find a table to meet our needs, especially since I expected we'd probably build one ourselves, which meant it probably wouldn't happen until 2017 at the earliest. But even though we had found our table I still had two items I was debating, and I asked for your opinions on our options.

First of all, I was trying to figure out what color I should possibly paint the legs of the table since they arrived in a flat black. And second, I was trying to decide on the style and color of dining chairs we'd purchase for seating.

After tons of wonderful comments, many with very differing opinions yet insightful justifications, I'm happy to report that we came to a final decision on both.

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