It Really Has Been 5 Years

Mike & I celebrated our 5 year anniversary on April 19.

I usually plan presents and cards and secret love notes and copious love texts and fun adventures to commemorate special events like these. Lately though, I’ve been so busy and distracted between the house and school that for the first time I didn’t plan a gosh darn thing except for writing this blog post as a sort of card to Mike… and I completed that only minutes before he got home from work on the day of our anniversary.

So it came as a lovely surprise when Mike and planned out our entire evening! First, he whisked me off to The Velvet Tango Room.

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Seriously guys, this is THEE best hidden gem in Cleveland. Or maybe the United States. It’s a little dimly-lit, romantic place, that is reminiscent of an old speak easy. It’s situated in an area between Tremont and Ohio City that’s a bit rough around the edges, so not only do you feel like you’re walking into a different era when you arrive, but into a whole new world. A world where women are ladies and men are gentle. Every cocktail on their extensive list is made by the books, the old-fashioned way, with ingredients measured to the exact ounce. If they can’t find the original ingredients that are called for in a particular recipe, they make it from scratch. The bartenders are artists, crafting each delicious concoction individually and shaking them exactly 90 seconds each (or something like that!). It’s a pricey joint, but it’s well worth the experience.

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Anyway, we had a couple of drinks there and then Mike surprised me with our first trip to Crop, an innovative gourmet restaurant in Ohio City.

Holy.

Cow.

It was delicious. Everything. Including the interior of the building. Just gorgeous.

Crop_Interiors-0895Although the food was outstanding, I have to say that my favorite part was when we first walked in. As our hostess was seating us, I saw a table with a huge bouquet of flowers on it and quickly squashed the excitement that had just burst in my chest. Though sweet, caring, and thoughtful, Mike has not always been known for romantic gestures or surprises. But perhaps that’s changing, because to my delight, we were seated at the table with the bouquet!

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I relished in the embarrassment of the large floral display, but eventually had to put it on the ground because it obstructed the view of my handsome man.

But I kept this card right on the table where I could see it.

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Darlin Companion.

Another one of our favorite Johnny and June numbers.

He just melts my heart (Mike, that is).

After Crop, we went back home and snuggled with our pup.

It was the happiest of anniversaries.

Until next time.

~Steph

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Spring Is In The Air

IMG_3349That means the smell of wet grass, blooming buds and flowers, busy bugs and insects, and lots of walks.

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And attempted selfie portraits in the morning sun.

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And much more attractive puppy portraits in the morning sun.

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Spring means trying to plant grass in our “front yard”.

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And digging in the dirt.

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And pretty colors lighting up the Terminal Tower.

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And pretty cupcakes from the one and only.

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I love spring.

Until next time.

~Steph

Living Room Makeover

Once again, it’s been a while & I’m sorry! And I have a feeling until May 24 (when I BETTER graduate from HMTI) it will continue to “be a while”. I have 7 Written Exams next week and then 2 weeks after that are the dreaded Oral Exams. And I have 6 of those….in one day. The scariest part is that people actually fail. It’s not like high school or college where the work you’ve done all year helps you out… all of the work I’ve done since August has absolutely no weight on my exams. It all comes down to these next few weeks. And I’ll be darned if I fail and am 40k in the hole without an M.Ed & AMI diploma to show for it! So, I apologize for my posts which have been and may continue to be few and far between.

But since I’m here now, I wanted to share some Before & After photos with you! Keep in mind, we still have a lot of work to do in these rooms– we haven’t finished moving furniture around, we plan to white wash some of the furniture we have, we haven’t put any art on the walls, etc.

So without further ado:

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So that’s the current state of our living room. Like I said, we still need to hang art on the walls and there’s plenty more we want to do.

But after the 75 man hours of labor that went into painting, Mike & I felt a little like this:

Literally, this was how he fell asleep after our first day of painting!

Literally, this was how he fell asleep after our first day of painting!

And since Denver had to be cooped up in his crate while we painted, he felt a little like this once we were done:

Humping Mike's little brother!

Humping Mike’s little brother!

So we’re taking some time to dream about what’s next.

I’d like to have an area for our coats– the wall where the dark wooden trunk is, beneath the window– we want to put a window seat with storage and wall shelving and hooks on either side of the window.

Something like this

Something like this, only we’d have less window seat, more shelving.

We want a new sectional to replace our current couch (although we are secretly SO emotionally attached to it after all we’ve been through together). Something darker would be nice… we love the clean, airy look of cream and ivory but we also love letting Denver on the couch… it’s not a good combo.

Love this one

Love this one

I will also be ordering this lovely crate cover to hide the eye sore that is Denver’s big crate.

Eventually, we’re vaulting the ceilings and getting new windows… but we have plenty more to accomplish before we get there!

Here’s a couple photos of our current bedroom.

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DSC_2921Still very much unfinished but also very much cleaner than before! This space will eventually we the guest room, once we finish our master suite but for now that space looks like this:

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So until that’s sorted out…. which likely won’t be for at least a few months….

We’ll be hunkering down in the guest room and continuing to make improvements in there.

Phew. I’m tired just talking about all of this. And this spattering I’ve shared today isn’t even 1/2 of the work we have ahead of us! But it’s a lot of fun planning our own little dream home. And after graduation, I’ll have a lot more time and energy to put into our projects and into blogging about them, so get excited.

Alright, time to take Denver to the dog park! You all have a lovely weekend.

Until next time.

~Steph