Hey, remember approximately a hundred years ago when I broke the news that we're adding on to our house? What if I told you I'm currently writing this very post from my brand-new office space in our brand-new second floor???

Well, I'd be lying if I told you that. It'd be a lie. Because that space doesn't exist.

We'd hoped that our new addition to the second floor, as well as our new front porch, would be finished by September. But here we are in the first week of September and not a thing has happened. About a month or so ago, the original contractor we'd chosen to go with contacted us, breaking the news that the original quote we'd agreed on wouldn't be possible...but it would have to go up by $13,000. Ummmm..... WUT? Absolutely not. We were pretty frustrated by the situation, and the contractor said they'd understand if we decided against using them, which was exactly what we did. It was just too much.

So there we were, with no contractor and precious summer construction-time dwindling. We went back to another contractor who'd given us a similar quote to the first one, and explained the situation. He looked over the work scope, the drawings and the contract the other company had drawn up. After looking it over he assured us they could do the job for the price of the original quote. He was confident, knowledgable and perfectly realistic about what we wanted done. What's more, his company had built two houses on our block already, and we've been inside of each, so we've seen the beautiful work they can do. We were set.

The only problem was, in the time we'd selected the other contractor, this company had already taken on a couple more jobs for the year. Construction wouldn't even be able to start until November, so with the looming danger of snow and another Wisconsin winter-pocalypse (thanks, Farmers' Almanac) on its way, there's no way we could start then. The addition has been put on hold.

We're hoping to get everything underway early next spring. What's a few more months of waiting, right? We'll have a few more months to save up for the downpayment, a few more months to think of finishes and decor. We'll have a few more months to build anticipation, and when it's done, we'll be able to enjoy our new porch all summer (hopefully). After all this time, we're not too broken up about waiting a little bit longer. When it homes to construction, nothing gets done in the time you expect it to, so now that we've learned this lesson, it'll make the payoff twice as sweet.



Image via nicelyturnedout.com
When surfing through the documentary section of Netflix a couple weekends ago, I stumbled upon "Bill Cunningham New York." I can't say I'm the biggest follower of couture fashion, but something about this movie jumped out at me. I decided to watch it on a whim, and I'm so glad I did. Bill Cunningham has been photographing street fashion in New York City for decades, standing on street corners in Manhattan, waiting for a passerby's ensemble to catch his eye. He doesn't follow celebrities—he's never owned a TV—he just knows what he likes, what looks interesting and then publishes it in his column for the New York Times. But what's way more interesting that the subjects he's photographing (even Anna Wintour says, deadpan, "You get dressed for Bill every morning), is Bill himself. Surrounded by the glitz and glamour of high fashion, it'd be easy to get caught up in it all, to feel a little superior, but Bill Cunningham is one of the most humble, spirited, low-key people you'll know. His apartment is filled with filing cabinets of every photo he's ever taken; he doesn't have a bed, just a mat and a blanket on top of some filing cabinets. Hell, he doesn't even have a kitchen, and the bathroom's located down the hall. He wears the same flimsy blue jacket everywhere he goes (so many pockets to hold his film), and even as he celebrates his 80th birthday, he nimbly navigates his bicycle through busy Manhattan traffic, from one social function to the next.

I've never fallen in love with a person in a film quite as fast as I did with Bill Cunningham (as Roger Ebert so simply and perfectly began his wonderful review of the film, "Here is a movie about a happy and nice man." That's all you need to know.). I was smiling so broadly throughout most of this film, in awe of this character and his gracious, humble attitude. It's so refreshing. I absolutely loved this movie (and apparently, I'm not the only one; it's got an impressive 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes...). It's the best documentary I've seen in the last five years.

And, while we're on the subject of fashion...


When I was in high school, I had a pair of clunky penny loafers (with tassels!) that I thought were awesome. You know, chunky heels, scuffed toes peeking out under the hem of my faded bootcut jeans...they were pretty rad. I threw them out years ago once ballet flats became the thing, and haven't thought of them since....until the past couple weeks. I know penny loafers aren't exacting a blazing-hot trend (I think they've been the next "it" shoes for at least a year), but I'm finally on board and I think they're adorable. With a low profile (no more chunky heels), they're cute with skinny jeans and a slubby long-sleeved t-shirt, leggings and a tunic or even cropped pants and a blazer, they're awesome for dressing up and down. Leather, black, bright colors, metallic...I love 'em all. I just ordered some the other day and can't wait until they come in. You know, just so I can get 'em all scuffed up again.

Image via beerplaylist
Okay, so this beer is nothing new. It's been around for a while, and it's been my go-to fall beer for about three years now...but it's the best pumpkin beer out there, and I get super excited when I first begin spotting it on tap and in stores this time of year. I started buying up bottles a couple weeks ago to keep stock for fall, but refused to drink it until September. But, guess what, it's September now, so even though it's hotter now in Milwaukee than it was all summer, it's time to pour this delicious brew down the gullet. If you haven't tried any Southern Tier beers before and they distribute in your area, go right out and try any of them—this brewery is pretty reliable when it comes to putting out awesome beer all year long. But this one usually does the trick for me, filling the gap between summer's extra-hoppy IPAs and winter's supply of Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale.



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