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Thursday, April 11, 2013

{Travel} Mr H turns 31

A couple of weekends ago, I surprised Mr H with a trip to one of our new favorite mountain getaways to celebrate his 31st birthday-Old Edwards Inn and Spa. OEI is located in the town of Highlands, North Carolina which is situated on a plateau in the southern Appalachian Mountains, within the Nantahala National Forest. The weather is mild and the views are to-die-for. It is often rainy with a mystical fog settled down on the town.  For us, this only adds to the romance and old world European charm of the property.

(Hello, sexy legs.  He may kill me for this . . .reading The Economist, of course)

The drive to OEI is characterized by 5-8 miles of winding mountain roads with beautiful waterfalls emerging on either side of the drive.

Some of the waterfalls were only visible from the road while others had parking lots and pull-offs like the one pictured, above.  It is truly an amazing drive.

There are several different types of accomodations at OEI:  historic main inn, the Lodge, private cottages.  We have chosen to stay at The Lodge the times that we have been because it seems to be more private with larger rooms.  However, all options are beyond beautiful.

The Lodge has a main building where there's a lobby, butler's pantry (stocked with complementary soda, tea, coffee, fruit and Dove ice cream bars-we had a few . . .okay more than a few :)), and wrap around double-decker porch with rockers.  On the Lodge grounds, though, there are individual cabins (think, luxury summer camp) that contain living rooms, fireplaces, jetted tubs, patios/sunrooms and heated bathroom floors.  YES!  HEATED BATHROOM FLOOR TILES! (we never knew how nice of an amenity that is until we stayed here).

The Lodge-front porch

The Lodge-lobby

The Lodge-looking out on the croquet lawn from the front porch

We did play a little croquet.  Someone might have let someone win because it was his birthday ;)

(looks like he'd rather be playing golf)

Our room was beautifully adorned with period antiques.

Chest in our room

I enjoyed sitting out in our sunroom in the mornings with a cup of coffee.

OEI has many amenities and activities:  tennis, golf, 2 outdoor mineral pools, fitness center with group classes, horseback riding, flyfishing, and the amazing . . .heart skip a beat . . .spa.

There are no words to describe how nice this spa is.  It is definitely the best amenity at OEI (and the main reason why we go).  The best part of this amenity is that you DO NOT have to purchase a spa service to enjoy all of the facilities that the spa has to offer.  There are men and women's separate areas with large swiss showers, dry and wet saunas, hot tubs, etc.  And outside of these rooms, there are beautiful "meditation rooms" complete with waterfall features and fireplaces. 

Spa living room

We purchased the Rainforest Rejuvenation spa service since it was Mr H's birthday (we were in a steam chamber where we rubbed different exfoliants and muds on eachother.  Sorry mom and dad ;))  But the majority of our spa time was spent together, reading a book, with a view like this:

We were so spoiled.  I asked for some hot tea . .  .and poof

Terrrible back lighting, but this is the look of total relaxation:

The food at OEI is truly amazing, as well.  We ate dinner and breakfast in their signature restaurant, Madison's (french toast and their thick sliced bacon is a must for breakfast).

Madison's lobby (I just die over the decor at this inn)

Madison's lobby-Love their mix of textures and colors

Madison's restaurant-I just die over this granite stone wall

Breakfast for the Birthday boy

OEI really sets themselves apart with their customer service and attention to detail.  They greeted us by name at every meal and made it a point to say "Happy Birthday Mr. Hazelwood" every time they passed.  In addition to that, they surprised us both with a beatiful dinner table setup for our upcoming wedding anniversary.

(Seriously?  Rose petals?  Sigh .  . .)

And when we returned to our room later that night . . .

Rose petals at turn-down.  You had me at rose . . .petal.

It is important to take the time to pamper yourself and the ones that you love, from time to time.  I did my best, along with OEI, to pamper and spoil my husband for his birthday weekend.  He works long hours to provide for our family (as do I :)) and I wanted to show him my appreciation.  And while we have only been married a year (WHOA . . .anniversary coming up!), and shouldn't need a "reset" button, OEI and Highlands gave us time to better connect with eachother and escape from our demanding professional lives for a weekend.

OEI has officially been added to our "favorites, hope to frequent" list and I can't wait to make many more wonderful memories with this husband, that I love so much:

(P.S.  How old are we that we needed coffee to stay awake during the after-dinner live music?)

So while I'm feeling mushy and nostalgic, go hug on those that you love.  We never know what tomorrow will bring.

(I am neither sponsored nor paid by OEI for this post)


Monday, April 8, 2013

{DIY} Garage Door Update

Welcome back! I hope all of you readers have had a great couple of weeks. The weather has been so nice the last few days so Mr H and I have tried to stay outside as much as possible (when we haven't been on the road!). Saturday night, I styled and helped my parents throw a spring cookout at their house (bad blogger because I didn't take pictures). We played cornhole, roasted marshmallows and had an incredible spread of food including fresh squeezed lemonade.

Has this amazing  weather inspired any of you to tackle some outdoor projects? I have a few  projects up my sleeve to share with you in the next few weeks.  The project I'm going to share with you today was completed this weekend.  We aren't fortunate enough yet to have a garage of our own, so I borrowed my parent's for this reveal:

Mr H and I were in Home Depot color matching paint for an upcoming project (stay tuned!!!!) when we came across a garage door accessory kit (Crown Bolt Traditional Decorative Garage Hardware Kit) for $19.99.  I have a love-hate relationship with garage doors.  I love their functionality (especially during snowy blizzards) but hate their aluminumy (yes that's a word), eye-soreness.  If you are lucky enough to own a carriage door style garage, kudos to you. For those that aren't so lucky, this DIY is for you!

 My parents graciously sacrificed their garage door for one of the easiest, fastest, DIY projects I've completed, to date.

 All you need is the garage door hardware kit and a drill.

Oh, and you need a garage door too (thanks mom and dad!).

The kit comes with all of the screws you should need depending on the depth of your garage door. For my parent's door, the smallest screws worked best.

On the back of the kit, the manufacturer gives suggestions on how to space/arrange the hardware.  One important thing to remember is that the door still needs to function!  Do not mount the hardware across a seam.  If you do, you'll have a pretty garage door . . .that won't raise.

Drill your holes (dad's hand made it onto the blog) once you've decided on spacing and place 3 screws on each piece of hardware (notice the seam line that we avoided under the hardware).

We chose to place 2 of these pieces on each side (for a total of 4).

After completing these side pieces, we drilled holes and attached the decorative handles once again avoiding the garage door seams.  You may wonder if the handles clear the opening when the garage door is raised-and I am happy to announce that they do!

While it is not quite as pretty as a true carriage style door, it is an amazing transformation for only $20!!

Here she is, all dressed up:

 And because I enjoy looking at this 15 minute transformation, here are a few more images:


I'll update you with more pictures when they've tackled their outdoor cleanup and their landscape and gardens are in full bloom.

Now, run don't walk to Home Depot to get this kit and drill some holes in your garage door!  You might want to check with your parents first before poking holes in theirs :)

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