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Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Cubby!

"The Cubby" is what we call the narrow little space that was created when we scooted walls around for the new master bathroom. The cubby lives right in between the bedroom and bath room space.

We've painted it gray to match the rest of the room - and here's where we are:

The Goal:
  - to be able to stash more/extra bathroom items, like towels, that we can't fit into the actual bathroom. + we'll have a spot for Kevin to stash things like belts, his wallet, and the other stuff that makes its way into his pockets throughout the day... and I'll do my best to make it kind of cute along the way...

The plan:
  - Fit and install shelving for storage.
  - would love to have a shelf set at the same height as the counter top in the bathroom to kind of serve as an extension of the bathroom space
  - I picked up a few wire baskets from IKEA in the As-Is area - from some closet storage system - would like to fit them in so that they slide out so we can better utilize the full depth of the cubby space.
  - a little light. We had an outlet included into the cubby space when the walls were going up so that we can add some kind of under-cabinet style lighting.

We'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

McBrides Enroll at Hogwarts!

   Elisa has been sorted into Ravenclaw, since she's such a smarty-pants, and Kevin into Gryffindor, on account of his bravery. What does all this mean? It means we're HUGE geeks.
  In Orlando over holiday break, we got up super early (45 degrees outside, it was still dark out) two mornings in a row and set out for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at the Islands of Adventure park. The park opened an hour early to us since we here Universal Hotel guests. Having read the Harry Potter series start to finish - twice - and owning all feature films on blue ray, we were SO excited to visit the new area of the park - a snow covered village of Hogsmeade with a very grand Hogwarts castle looming overhead. We RAN - despite the protests of park workers - through the park until we reached the steam of the Hogwarts Express and entered Hogsmeade - okay, I actually teared up a little. It was SO magical...

We queued up in the Herbology Green house for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey Ride (a line whose wait time was 120 minutes after 8am) - a 25 min. line for us...
We promptly sorted Madeleine into Hufflepuff and Riley into Slytherin
Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks - Pancakes, Bacon, Black Pudding...
+ they had these really sweet projections, way up high in the staircases, of owls arriving with letters...
+ on our way out, we overheard that they were now only seating muggles with reservations... We made it just in time!
the Butter Beer keg cart - oh man. Butter Beer is so good: cream-soda-y with a butterscotch-mallow foam on top.
(I think we should try to look up a recipe online) + Pumpkin Juice = delicious.
The witch serving foamy beverages said that they sell $16k in Butter Beer/day! Whoa!
Here I am in Hogsmeade sporting my Ravenclaw house scarf + my sweet screen printed Deathly Hallows Tote Bag (courtesy of Sarah O'Malia) - I caught some peeps eyeballing my bag. Sorry. Not for sale at the park.
From Hogsmeade we went on to Jurassic Park and Toon Lagoon, but def spent most of our time on Marvel Comic Island. Riley bought at least 20 t-shirts...

We took this picture of the Cat in the Hat's Hat for Brooke: 

but Riley wanted to get in on it too...

We had a great adventure and a ton of fun!

p.s.  21.1 Gigawatts!!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Birthday in Orlando!

  On Kevin's B-day (12/27) we flew off to bright, sunny Orlando along with Kevin's Mom, Deb, and Kevin's younger brother and sister, Riley & Madeleine. Orlando however, was neither bright nor sunny - but that's okay. We bundled up for our early morning adventures to Universal Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios parks.
  We stayed at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel - one of the three Universal hotels - a fun Italian themed hotel with a large center piazza complete with vespas and fine Italian cuisine.

First things first: Us gals headed to the spa for relaxing massages and the guys set off for Universal Studios to get started on rides
We had birthday dinner at Bice - oh man! It was SOoooooooo good. Lamb osso bucco with risotto for Kevin, and filled torteloni for me.

It was great staying so close to the parks - hop on the water taxi, catch a pedicab, or walk along perfectly manicured landscaped paths.

  Once there, we found out that the week in between Christmas and New Year's is the busiest of the year - whoops! - so the parks were hopping. Luckily, since we were staying on site, our hotel room keys allowed us access to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter portion of the Islands of Adventure park an hour before the park opens + unlimited Express Passes - that allow us to skip to the front of most ride lines. Given the popularity of the parks since Harry Potter opened last year, I would NOT recommend going to the Universal Parks withOUT staying on site. Had we not stayed on site, we wouldn't have even made it into the Harry Potter area of the park (the space was over capacity by 8:30 am - a half hour after the park opened to the general public - and was blocked off to park guests...) + we would have been in super long lines for EVERYTHING all day.

Photos of our park adventures to come!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Christmas at the McBride's... kind of...

With all of the new, larger space that the new house offers, we just don't yet have enough to fill it up with the Christmas Spirit. Just a few little odds & ends + a skinny, narrow artificial tree.
  After we got the boutique taken down and everything put away (well, almost everything...), if was mid Dec. and time to get holiday shopping done - so decorating the house, OR purchasing more holiday decor, was not top priority.
  Of course we spent the holidays with family - over at THEIR festively decorated homes, so that kind of counts... Maybe next year we'll get the place decorated......?

On our brand new mantle sits a cute holiday Fairy House from Kevin's Mom - creator of Enchanted Houses -  + a collection of little wooden penguins that are fun to arrange in little clusters of what is sure to be intelligent penguin conversation and discussion
+ Progress in our front entry way = wall shelf to display our lovely finds + photos

 + these 3 framed photos that Kevin took on our honeymoon.

1: Amazing clouds from the balcony of our state room on our cruise.
    Off the coast of Honduras

2: Our favorite photo of classic New Orleans building with ornate iron railing and gas lamp from Jackson Square,

3: Tree from the rain forest surrounding Mayan Ruins in Belize - that was a REALLY hot day!

LOVE that we have these pics right here to welcome everyone to our home :)