August 27, 2014
by Ryanne
1 Comment

Our Very First Home-versary Part 1

Saturday, June, 7th, 2014 marked our 1 year anniversary as home owners!  The only thing that helps me remember that date is that it also is National Donut Day :)  And the reason I know that is because LJ loves donuts and our realtor bought LJ a dozen of them on closing day!   But that’s enough about donuts….back to the main focus…our Home-versary.  I thought it would be fun to show y’all some before and afters of how far we’ve come on this homeowner journey!  Once I started putting this post together I realized how many pictures I wanted to share….so I’ve decided to share in a two part series.  Today we’re sticking with the outside!

Check out here , here, here, here , here, and here to see posts about individual updates we did!

This is what the house looked like at home inspection day....

This is what the house looked like at home inspection day….


The side yard off the driveway when we first moved in...

The side yard off the driveway when we first moved in…



As you can see Molly still continues to enjoy her yard a year later!  We still have a lot of landscaping to tackle, but it is slowly coming together!


Have a great day everyone!


June 11, 2014
by Megan

Staying Fit After Baby

Remember me? I know, it’s been a very long time since I last posted.  Life is definitely different after having a baby! You might remember my post a while ago about how I was trying to stay fit while pregnant, so I thought I’d share my experience for staying fit after having a baby.

I’ve found my two big barriers to fitting in a workout are time and energy.  Even if you haven’t had a baby, these might be your barriers as well.  After I had Baby D I tried to start walking short distances and made sure I listened to my body so as to not overdo it.  I did this a few times a week and noticed my distances became longer and faster.  It was hard having a baby in the winter when it was freezing out, so on the really cold days I walked with Baby D in a carrier around the track at YMCA or the mall.

imageOnce I was cleared by my health provider to work out more intensely, I started slowly getting back into running.  I started off loosely following this plan I found on Runner’s World and doing core exercises.  It was very difficult and frustrating at first because I wanted to be able to run the pace and distances I had been running before I got pregnant (which was totally unrealistic!).  It was the strangest sensation and I felt really jiggly in my belly area, but that only lasted about 2 weeks.  I also did various toning classes at the YMCA  that I had previously attended before giving birth.

and then I went back to work….

And my exercise routine went down the drain.

So now, after getting into some type of routine for work and sending  Baby D to daycare I’ve started doing the following things:

1) I signed up for The City of Oaks 1/2 Marathon in November as my first post-baby race.  It helps me to keep up with running when I have to train for a race!

2) Aimed for running 2-3 mornings a week before work (usually one of these days ends up being on the weekend).

3) On days I don’t run I’ve gone for a nice family walk after work.

4) Stopped being so hard on myself when Baby D doesn’t sleep well at night and I don’t get a run in that morning and have to postpone it another day.  Life happens and I have to be flexible (still working on this)!

5) Enjoyed time with my new favorite exercise buddy!


Do you have any tips for staying fit when you are low on time or energy?  Stay tuned for my a future post on my favorite fitness gear!

**This is just my experience, make sure you are cleared by your health provider before starting any physical activity.



June 3, 2014
by Ryanne

Kitchen Makeover On a Budget

I often wonder if life will ever slow down??  LJ and I have had tons of visitors, gone out of town, had bachelor/bachelorette parties and weddings !  Anyone else had a crazy busy spring/summer?  I FINALLY had some time to sit down and write about the details of my kitchen painting extravaganza.

I had to do some digging, but I finally found a picture on my iphone of what our kitchen looked like when we first moved in.  Sorry it’s a bit blurry…


Our family room/kitchen/dining area are pretty much one space.  The family room and kitchen were both painted the beige color pictured above.  While I really love the beige, I knew I wanted to paint the kitchen a different color to help define the two spaces.  After hours of patrolling pinterest and other blogs I decided to grab a sample of the Glidden “Gentle Tide” from Home Depot.  I got the idea for this color from my favorite DIY blog—Young House Love.  They had it in their kitchen in a previous home and I loved the way it looked.  After applying a few strokes…I was in love!  It’s amazing what a little paint can do for a space.  **FYI they no longer have a color swatch for it at Home Depot, but if you ask for it, they still have it in their computer system.


The next item on my “to-do” list was painting the cabinets.  Ever since we moved into our house I thought our kitchen was nice (small) and updated, but the dark cabinets with the black granite and hardwood floors were just too dark for me.  Switching the granite color was not an option (too expensive and wasteful), so I decided the cabinets would need to be painted.  I’ve always been more partial to white cabinets, especially with black counter tops.  Believe me when I say this decision was not made lightly.  I first brought the idea up to LJ who was completely on board.  We also discussed it with  our parents, realtor (husband and wife team) and various friends.  Everyone was split down the middle.  A majority of the women said “Go for it!” and almost all of the men said “it looks nice like it is, don’t bother” or “those cabinets are nice, why would you paint them?”.  To make a long story short I stalked some more blogs and pictures before making the final decision to paint.  LJ was out of town when I first started the project, so I called him for one last pep talk before I started (because once you paint–you can’t take it back), but once I got going I was really, really, happy with my decision.

…..Until this happened.


Yes, you are reading  seeing this correctly.  That is paint peeling off of the cabinets.  YIKES!  Let me back track a little bit and tell you what I did to get to that point.  I decided to use the popular Annie Sloan chalk paint.  Our cabinets had a semi-glossy finish and I didn’t really want to fool with too much sanding, so I thought that was the best route to go.  The color I used was “Old White”.  I first removed all of the hardware and doors from the cabinets.  Just like my other projects using this paint I took some sand paper and “roughed up” the cabinets to help the paint absorb a little better.  After the first coat dried I was good to go and feeling very confident in my decision.  After the second coat is when the peeling started.  I mayyyy of had a minor freak-out!

Cali-Hawaii-CabinetPainting 089 Cali-Hawaii-CabinetPainting 090 Cali-Hawaii-CabinetPainting 093

Luckily I still had the e-mail of the owner of Shabby Love (instructor of the class I took on  using this paint).  I snapped a few pics and waited for her expert advice.  She was shocked that I was having that result….but assured me it could be fixed.  She sent me to Home Depot to get some Kilz Spray Primer.

Cali-Hawaii-CabinetPainting 102

This stuff was a life saver.  It definitely did the trick!  I ended up sanding the cabinets pretty well, sprayed the Kilz (in the crevices where is was peeling most), let it dry thorougly, then applied the annie sloan paint.

Cali-Hawaii-CabinetPainting 101

Cali-Hawaii-CabinetPainting 098 Cali-Hawaii-CabinetPainting 099 Cali-Hawaii-CabinetPainting 100

To get the coverage I wanted I ended up doing two coats.  I also sanded the edges for the “worn/shabby chic” look, and finished with waxing.

…..And there you have it! A completely finished kitchen!







Despite the issues I had I am still happy I did it AND used the Annie Sloan paint!  I think with regular paint I wouldn’t have gotten the color/coverage/”worn” look that I wanted.

LJ and I have also been busy working on other home projects in the house (if you follow me on Instagram rfulrich, you may have seen the board and batten bathroom) and in the yard.    It’s hard to believe that we are approaching our 1 year home owning anniverseary.  I plan to put together a post of before and afters of what we’ve done so far.

I hope you all had a great weekend….happy Tuesday!

*Has your summer been busy already?

*Working on any projects?

*Have you ever used the Annie Sloan chalk paint and if so, did it peel?





April 8, 2014
by Ryanne

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Recap

Good afternoon!

I hope each of you had a relaxing weekend.  Mine was pretty packed.  I feel like I’m just now recovered!  My two friends from grad school came in for the weekend (Mallory and Amanda).  It was so great seeing them both…it had definitely been awhile. Mallory and her boyfriend Adam recently got a golden-doodle named Bodhi.  We were excited for Molly and Bodhi to meet.  At the begining Bodhi was pretty terrified of Molly (she may or maynot have almost broken his hip the first meeting), but by the end of the weekend they were best friends.  It was adorable watching him follow Molly around!

Bodhi and Molly

Bodhi and Molly

Sunday morning I had an early wake up at 5am for the 730am start of the Cherry Blossom 10 miler!  LJ was nice enough to drop me off in Court House where my co-worker Erin and I caught the metro.  The race started at the Washington Monument.  The metro was not as busy as we thought it would be, so by the time we got there we had 45 minutes to kill before the race started .  The sun hadn’t come up yet and there was  a slight breeze, so it was FREEZING at the start line.  I’m pretty sure I burned more energy shivering for an hour than actually running the race! Perfect photo op with the newly fixed monument!

Erin and I sleepy and cold, but ready to run!

Erin and I sleepy and cold, but ready to run!

The elite runners started at 7:18 and then the regulars started around 7:30 with each corral going off every 3-5 minutes.  I was in the second “red” corral.  It was definitely a PACKED race!  I was hoping to keep a 8 min/mile pace and aiming to finish in 1:20ish.  I did something to my Garmin and it didn’t record my mile splits (so annoyed), so I can’t share with you my individual splits.  But based on the results page my times were as follows:

5 mile split: 40:38 (8:07 min/mile)

10k split: 50:42 (8:09 min/mile)

10 mile finish: 1:22:10 (8:13 min/mile)

Placed: 1,025 out of 10,548 females (top 9.7%) and 3,361 out of 17,747 total runners (top 19%)

If I were to keep that 8:13 min/mile pace I would have projected to finish a half (13.1) in about 1:47:40, which would beat my last half marathon PR by ~a minute!  Given the crowds, multiple out and backs, and dodging people the first 5 miles, I was pretty happy with my finish.  While I would prefer to see negative splits at the end, I was happy I only slowed down 6 seconds/mile from the halfway point to the finish.  Definitely a confidence booster that I can hopefully break my half marathon PR in 4 weeks when I run the Flying Pirate Half-Marathon.  I will also have one of my favorite running buddies with me–which always makes runs more fun :)

Thumbs up for a PR!

Thumbs up for a PR!

Couple of things I learned this race that I will do differently at the half:

-Eat something more than a banana (I was starving at the start line).  Maybe add a slice of toast with almond or peanut butter.

-Patrol thrift shops for old sweatshirts to wear at the start line (then ditch), so I do not shiver to death before the races starts

-Keep my eyes glued to my Garmin the first 2-3 miles to make sure I’m not going out too fast

Overall it was a really fun race with beautiful views of DC.   The whole event was super organized!   I didn’t even have to wait in line when I picked up my packed on Friday afternoon.  This is definitely a race to add to the bucket list.  I’m happy I got the opportunity to do it!

Now to focus on my next races:

-Flying Pirate Half-Marathon (Outer Banks, NC) May 4, 2014

-Marine Corp Marathon (Washington, DC) October 26, 2014–yes you’re reading that correctly!  I got into the Marine Corps marathon!  I am super excited for this race.  Full-blown training will begin the end of July, so stay tuned!

How was your weekend?

Any marathon training/racing advice?


P.S–I haven’t forgotten! Working on a post about my kitchen cabinet painting adventure.

P.P.S– As you can imagine, Megan has her hands full with a 4 month old and working full-time.  Of course she will post when she can, but you’re stuck listening to me, mostly, for now :)


March 23, 2014
by Ryanne

Painted Kitchen

Hi friends!  I hope you all had a great weekend.  Mine went by way too fast, as always!  LJ and I got a fun 10 mile run in around DC (2 weeks until Cherry Blossom 10 miler, 6 weeks until Flying Pirate Half Marathon).   Then LJ’s sister and boyfriend came to visit from PA….such a fun weekend!

Molly, our golden retriever, is pooped and sad the weekend is over.


I know I told y’all I was working on something big (a while ago), but I can’t remember if I actually told you what it was.  I decided to take on the lofty task of painting our kitchen and kitchen cabinets.  By myself.

Painting the kitchen was a piece of cake compared to the cabinets.  Those cabinets ended up being a HUGE, time consuming, frustrating, project!  I won’t fill this post with my woes just yet (definitely not sugar coating anything for ya–i’m just trying to keep it real over here).  I figured I’d post some before and afters and show off my hard work.  I will be back to fill you in on the long, long, task…but for now just enjoy the photos :)

Before 1















Let me know what you think (good and bad)!!