Category Archives: Weekend Roundup

How NOT to Decorate a Rental Property (My Cabin Weekend)

This past weekend my good friends and I celebrated 10 years of friendship with a girls’ weekend away at a cabin.  The first few years, when we were all working together at the vet hospital and living in the same town, we went camping all the time, either in tents or in rustic log cabins with no running water or electricity.

This time, however, the new mother of twins needed electricity & a fridge so she could pump and store milk for the babies.  So we went with a more modern cabin.  Modern being relative. . .

In my various cabin rental experiences over the last few years, I determined that the majority of vacation cabin owners do not understand how to decorate, especially when going for that “rustic” feel.

1.  Less is More, not More is More. 

Empty wall space doesn’t need to be covered with clutter.  Every wall of the cabin had random pieces of art hanging on it – as though every time the owner found more framed art at the thrift store they tried to fit it somewhere on the wall.  And not in a nice “gallery wall” way.

There was also a lot of random decor taking up space, like a little dish of stones and flower pots on top of an unused wicker box in the bathroom.  Bizarre.

Bathroom Decor Clouds Cabin Luray VA

2.  Ditch the Fake Flowers & Vines. 

Many of the mountain vacation homes had fake flowers and vines in their photos.  Winding around the ceiling.  Tacked to the wall. Trailing over the otherwise cool wood-beam mantel.

Fireplace Clouds Cabin Luray VA

Do you know what I think when I see fake flowers? Dust.  Lots and lots of dust.  And in some cases, they get in the way of actually being able to put your stuff down when you’re staying:

Fake Flowers In Rental Cabin Bedroom

Decor in one of their other properties.

3.  Stickers Are Not a Decorative Accent.   I was marveling at the more than 12 pieces of framed art hanging in the small bathroom when suddenly I noticed . . . there were stickers all over the electrical panel.  Placed upon it as if to disguise the fact that there was, in fact, a fuse box over the toilet.

A Team Cabin 2013 Oct 5

Trust me when I say that a beige fuse box over the toilet was the least of the cabin’s decor issues.

4. Using 5 different types of fake wood paneling does not equal rustic.

The stairway was paneled in what looked like veneer plywood, stained dark brown. It looked pretty sweet.  Unfortunately there were 4 other types of wood paneling used – some painted, some not.  Just keep it simple and consistent, people!

The Good Parts:

I’m definitely being a bit dramatic about the decor, but all three of my friends agreed it was a bit ridiculous. There were definitely some good aspects to this cabin.

It was cozy but spacious enough for us 4, it was dog friendly (huge plus!), had clean and comfy leather sofas, and there would have been an awesome view had it not been pouring down rain all weekend.  Most importantly, there was a roomy hot tub outside in the woods that we enjoyed, even in the constant rain:

Hot Tub Clouds Cabin Luray VA

And, when you’re with good friends, you really can enjoy anything.  And so we did.  We visited 6 wineries (over two days), enjoyed some fires in the wood stove, and had a blast despite the rain – and the ugly curtains surrounding us. :)

Virginia Winery A Team

A Team Cabin 2013 Oct 4

But I have to admit I look forward to renting a rustic, no electricity, peeing-in-the-woods cabin again in the future.

If you want to pay $250 a night, and still have to bring your own bed sheets, pillows, towels, dish towels, firewood, matches, kindling, and toilet paper, you can find the property (and others!) here

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Peas in a Pod: A baby shower for twins

Psst:  Tonight I’ll be joining some of my small business friends at the book launch party for Lauree of Simply Leap where she’ll be signing and celebrating this fabulous achievement.  Her book, I’m Scared & Doing It Anyway, talks about how a ‘little white blob’ – aka a brain tumor – changed her life.  Come join us!

Now, onto my weekend roundup.

I was pretty quiet last week because I was busy with preparations for one of my best friend’s baby showers.  Specifically, I was most busy making this shower cake!

Twins Baby Shower Cake

I love how it turned out, though I wish we hadn’t had humidity issues in the 3 hour car ride, because it caused a little bleeding of the colors.  Oh well.

Because Reba is expecting twins, her sister and mother chose the theme of Peas in a Pod, and they did such a great job executing it!

PicMonkey Collage

Clockwise, from top left:  one vase was nestled inside another so that frozen peas could be added.  A clothesline of bibs above a table with fabric markers so we all could decorate bibs for the babies.  My cake.  Party favors were Pea in Pod wildflower seed bombs from Pulp Art on Etsy. Twins Baby Shower02

My friend made button art monograms in shadow boxes for the nursery, which you can see on top of the fireplace.  They are awesome, though she said she burned her fingers with the hot glue a ton while making them. Twins Baby Shower03

Have you ever heard of Advice Diapers?  Neither had I, but it was cute.  Guests were able to write some advice for the new parents on diapers.  I got a chuckle thinking of a daycare provider going to change a diaper, only to find a message written on the front of it…

Baby Shower Advice Diapers1

These two handmade baby quilts stole the show as the most imaginative and handmade gift.  The nursery will have an accent wall with green stripes and a tree mural. . . and these two quilts each have half a tree, which forms a whole when put together.  Love it!

Below Reba is posing with the maker of the quilts, whose name I didn’t get.

Twins Baby Shower11

Twins Baby Shower12

Oh, and if the house in the shower looks familiar, it’s because we used it for my other good friend’s Safari Theme baby shower last summer, as well as Reba’s post-wedding brunch this March.  A huge thanks to Reba’s mom for always opening her home to us when we’re in Richmond. :)










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Weekend Roundup: Another A-Team Wedding

This past weekend, as I mentioned on Monday, was a whirlwind of wedding festivities for one the four girls in my A-Team, Rebecca.

The A Team

The four of us will celebrate our 10-year “friendiversary” this July.  We call ourselves the A-Team because we all met while working at Ambassador Animal Hospital in Richmond. It’s fitting that we call ourselves the A-Team because we really are a team, I know these girls are there when the shit hits the fan, as has pretty much happened to all of us at some point in the last 10 years.  Even though we don’t get together as much as we used to (thanks, in part, to my moving to Washington DC 8 years ago), these girls are so super important to me.

This was the third A-Team wedding (the first was Crysty’s, where I made the wedding cake, and the second was mine).  So anyway, here are some photos of the awesomeness that ensued.

A baby ring bearer coming down the aisle in a wagon? Total awesomeness.

Baby Ring Bearer Wedding Wagon | The Borrowed Abode

The colors were black, pink, and fuchsia.  I loved the pink shoes and the birdcage veil. And the dress. I loved it all.

Reebs Wedding Getting Ready

The already beautiful and elegant bride was even cuter with her baby bump.  A pair of twins wanted to get a head start – they arrive in July and we can. not. wait. Reebs Wedding Down the Aisle

I love how Reebs just exudes pure joy in the bottom left photo (above).  

The reception was in the Garden House at Maymont Estate, a well-known Richmond area park.

Rebecca’s mom did most of the wedding planning & decor, and I loved the way she balanced the black, white and pink.  That black and white damask wall is actually a DIY’ed photo booth – the frames are installed around cutout areas so guests could pose inside the frames. Much fun was had.

Reebs Wedding Reception Maymont Garden Hall
Reebs Wedding Wedding Fun Stuff

The cake topper on the table represents the couple – two nurses – and their respective schools.

The “guest book” was a canvas where we all put our finger prints and then signed them. So much fun!Reebs Wedding Finger Print Guest Book Canvas

I made Reebs some marriage advice cards using the same template I used for my wedding.  They’re so much fun to read through – some people give great serious advice, while others like Ryan* leave ridiculously silly comments.  Both are good. Reebs Marriage Advice Cards

*Ryan’s marriage advice to Reebs reads:

“Always go to bed angry.  Throwing things usually solves problems. The man is ALWAYS right. Remember, there are other fish in the sea. Making fun of each other is key. But, hey! What do I know.. “

Reebs is obsessed with Dancing With The Stars, so it was only fitting that she and Mark pulled out a fun choreographed dance after the traditional first dance. I was super impressed. So impressed that I made a corny animated GIF.Reebs and Mark First DanceThe baby ring bearer got passed around a lot.  When he cried, I handed him to Ryan, who cried with him.

Ryan and Baby

That night, we decorated the car – and Ryan decided to cover it in post-it notes.  That was a bit bizarre but funny.Reebs Wedding Getaway Car The whole weekend was so much fun, and filled with such joy.  Words can not express how happy I am that Reebs and Mark found each other.

Reebs and Mark I could go on and on, but I know this wedding is a bit random for many of you – so I’ll leave it at this.   I took over 500 photos during the weekend, many of which are posted on my Flickr page.

ATeam and men

These men are “A Team Approved.”

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