Thursday, March 05, 2015

Please won't you be my neighbor?

Available April 1 in Springfield, VA!

If you're moving to Northern Virginia and looking for a great house to rent, have I got the house for you! We like it here so much, in fact, that we bought a house right down the street. So now I'm trying to help our landlord find awesome new tenants and get some awesome new neighbors for myself in the bargain. There's lots of information about the house on Military By Owner, but the photos in the ad are from when the house was empty. I thought a blog post might allow me to give a better tour.

As I write this, we are blanketed in snow, but here's what the house looked like in summer of 2013 when we first moved here (click on the pictures to see them bigger):

On the main floor, you enter into a combined living and dining room:

There's also a powder room on the main floor:

Through the French doors next to the dining room, you enter into an L-shaped room that has the kitchen and a family room with fireplace. The kitchen is admittedly small, but it's actually more user-friendly than the one we had in Kansas. There are a couple tall free-standing cabinets in the laundry room that the owner originally had along the wall next to the refrigerator, but we needed the space for furniture. They're easily moved back up though for extra storage:

We have been using the family room area for my husband's office:

The French doors in the family room lead out to the fenced yard, which is small but quite nice for our little dog. This is what it looks like today:

There's a nice deck and small patio area that are very pleasant during the warmer times of the year. There's also a 1-car detached garage with remote opener.

Stepping back inside, let's head downstairs to the partially finished basement. The finished part features an awesome "man cave":

The big storage unit stays with the house and is fabulous storage for games, puzzles, and craft supplies. There's also a fourth bedroom down there that we have been using as our son's room while he's away at college.

And there's a full bath:

Funny story about that bathroom. Shortly after we moved here, Fred told me that he had put something in the basement linen closet. I said, "But we don't have a basement linen closet." Turns out there's a good-sized closet behind the bathroom door.

The laundry and storage rooms are in the unfinished part. The washer and dryer stay with the house:

And having an entire room for nothing but storage has been great:

So now let's go upstairs:

There are 3 bedrooms upstairs, the master bedroom and 2 others. This is our daughter's room:

The second bedroom is similar in size but with only one window. It's my office, and it's way too messy to post on the Internet.

There's also another full bath on the second floor, which is almost identical to the basement bathroom:

This is our bedroom. We had a tough time finding a house we could afford with a master bedroom that would fit our bedroom furniture, so this room was a deciding factor for us in choosing this house:

That's a walk-in closet to the left of the tall chest.

Then finally, here's our bathroom, which I love:

We rented here until we could figure out where we wanted to be. Turns out THIS is where we want to be! The neighborhood is very friendly, with lots of kids out playing and people walking their dogs (in better weather). We are just a shade over a mile to the platform at the Franconia metro station, and the new Springfield mall is less than a half-mile away. I can't believe that in mid-April I'll have a Nordstrom Rack within walking distance! We are also just under 4 miles to Fort Belvoir's Telegraph Gate. They're opening a Wegman's across from that gate in June, and then my life will be truly complete. I don't know anything about the schools, but the elementary school (Forestdale Elementary) is a block away, and the high school (Lee High School) is just on the other side of Franconia.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A year in books

One of my favorite things about the ending of a year is that I get to go through my list of books read (or in some cases listened to) and create a collage of covers. Here are this year's books:

I've been making these collages since 2007. Here's a look back at all of them:

It's pretty rare for me to finish a book I don't like (although there are a few notable exceptions), so if something is in one of my cover collections, odds are it was pretty good.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas yarn

I've been very excited about a few projects I made for Christmas. First of all, here are Mike, Sarah, and Annabelle in their Grumpy Cat hats. Get your frown on!

I also made Annabelle some mittens in Rochester colors, because it's freaking COLD up there:

Saturday, December 27, 2014


Last year when Mike and Sarah were up for Christmas, we went out to Peking Gourmet Inn for a delicious Chinese meal. Peking Gourmet Inn is known for being THE place for good Chinese food, and the walls are covered with photos of celebrities and dignitaries who have dined there. I wanted a similar experience this year, so we went to Filomena in Georgetown on the advice of one of my co-workers. We were not disappointed!

Filomena is also known for its famous clientele, and the cover of the menu is embossed with the names of some well-known diners:

The restaurant was extravagantly decorated for Christmas:

And the food was top notch! I had a pasta with lobster sauce that was Bill Clinton's favorite when he was living nearby. Then for dessert, we split several items, including this amazing cheesecake:

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Christmas dogs

Annabelle got home for her winter break this morning, and the first thing we did when we got home was take our Christmas card photo. This isn't it, but it's too adorable not to share:

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lifting heavy objects

Mike competed in the USA Powerlifting American Open Championships today in the city and did quite well! Buddy has all the details and lots of video on his blog. Here's a rather blurry pic of him with his silver medal at the end though:

Way to go, Mike!