Thursday, March 27, 2014

Elms Hotel and Spa

Over the weekend, Jesse and I took a little trip to The Elms Hotel and Spa for a some much needed rest and relaxation. Travel isn't really my genre, but The Elms is very special to me (I grew up taking weekend trips there with my family) so I wanted to write about it in hopes that others might give the place try.
Guest Room at the Elms Hotel and Spa Excelsior Springs Mo
The Elms is located in Excelsior Springs, Missouri which is a three hour drive from where we live. The distance isn't too bad considering some of the road trips we used to take and we kept a leisurely pace by stopping for lunch (ahem, with a little wine) and antiquing.
Piatta 614 St. Joseph MoWe had a great lunch Piatta 614 in St. Joseph. This place has unique rough-hewn decor, friendly staff and great food! I had a starter salad with espresso vinaigrette, chicken Parmesan and the Cartlidge and Browne Chardonnay.
Piatta 614 St. Joseph Mo
After lunch, we stopped at this secondhand furniture emporium. 
Secondhand Furniture EmporiumFortunately, they didn't have anything I couldn't live without, but this vintage piano caught my eye. Jesse and I really want B to learn an instrument and a small scale piano like this would work well in our house.
About thirty minutes outside St. Joe, we stopped at this barn turned antique store right off I-36. They had a great selection of fairly priced antiques; I bought a pair of vintage costume earrings and Jesse found an old hand plane.
Roadside Antiques Shop in Barn

We arrived in Excelsior springs at about three o'clock which was the perfect amount of time to get settled into our room, enjoy happy hour and then head down to the spa for services.
The Elms Hotel and Spa Excelsior Springs Mo

The Elms Hotel and Spa Excelsior Springs Mo

Check out the beautiful accommodations! The hotel underwent a huge renovation in 2012 that turned out so beautifully. They kept the original shape, look and feel of the hotel while bringing it up to modern standards in terms of furnishings and decor. To me, the hotel has slightly European feel, but that's probably just due to it's age.
Guest Room at The Elms Hotel and Spa Excelsior Springs Mo
We had a lovely corner room with huge windows on two walls.
Guest Room at The Elms Hotel and Spa Excelsior Springs Mo

Guest Room at The Elms Hotel and Spa Excelsior Springs Mo
Can't go wrong with Aveda products in the bathroom!
Guest Room at The Elms Hotel and Spa Excelsior Springs Mo

At the spa, I enjoyed a basic facial followed by a sea salt and rose petal body scrub.  I think I can sum up the experience by saying that afterwords my whole body felt like buttah! They don't allow phones or cameras in the spa area (thank goodness!) so here is a pic from The Elms Hotel Facebook page.

While I was being scrubbed, massaged and sprayed, Jesse enjoyed hanging out (and taking a nap!) in the grotto. The grotto features dry and steam saunas, a self serve exfoliation bar and a cold plunge shower.

After  having our bodies turned into Jell-O, it was getting late and neither of us felt like dressing up for dinner; so we skipped the hotel restaurant and headed across the street to Wabash BBQ for some fried pickles and ribs.

We had wonderful stay at The Elms. My only gripe, and it's a small one, is that since the renovation they seem to be doing a lot of wedding business so there can be a few noisy guests in the evening hours. We actually ended up switching rooms at about midnight due to noise, and the Hotel staff was perfectly gracious and accommodating.  I'm very happy that The Elms is doing well, but old hotels have thin walls so if you go on a weekend, I'd recommend asking for a quiet room away from the wedding party, if possible.

The hotel also has a rich history. Here are a few fun facts:

President Truman stayed at the Hotel on the evening of the 1948 election. He went to bed thinking he'd lost and awoke to find a newspaper declaring his victory.

During the late nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century, tourists visited Excelsior Springs and The Elms to enjoy the healing powers of the natural spring waters.

During Prohibition, infamous gangsters, including Al Capone, held bootleg parties at The Elms.

This post is linked up with:
Remodelaholics Anonymous Weekend Link Party  4.4.14

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Step Stool for the Bathroom

It was seventy degrees on Sunday, so of course I found something to spray paint! 
We had a run-of-the-mill plastic step stool in the bathroom for B that I really didn't like. Call me a snob, but I hate that so much baby and kid gear (the affordable stuff anyways) is garishly colored plastic. Of course, I also don't want it to look like we have no child living here. For us, it's about finding a balance and trying to come up with alternatives to the plastic stuff. 
Industrial Style Step StoolHere's the old step stool. It's now located in B's closet where he can easily use it to reach his toy shelves.

Here's the step stool I commandeered from Jesse's shop. Because what's his is mine...or something like that...
Industrial Style Step Stool
I wiped the stool down, covered the top and gave it a quick coat of spray paint. I didn't do any work to the wood top because I think the marks and scuffs give it character.
Industrial Style Step Stool

Industrial Style Step Stool
After letting the paint dry over night, I added rubber grippy things to the feet to keep it from sliding around or marking the floor. The grippy things are located in the same section as the felt slider things at the hardware store :)
Industrial Style Step Stool

Industrial Style Step StoolThis little stool is the perfect height for B to reach the sink and for me to sit and supervise during bath time. Plus, it's not too shabby to look at. Form and function, yay!
Am I silly, or do you try to combat all the plastic kiddo stuff, too?

This post is linked up with:
Remodelaholics Weekend Link Party 3.14.14

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Easy DIY: Custom Poster Frame

Happy Saturday! As promised, here's a tutorial on how to make your own Ferm Living inspired poster frame!
 For this poster frame project, you'll need four quarter inch thick strips of wood that are the length of your poster plus an inch. Sand the wood pieces to remove any bumps or slivers and then wipe off the dust with a damp cloth.
Spray both sides of the wood pieces with paint plus primer of your choice. Black looks good for this botanical print, but I think it would be fun to hang a black and white image with neon painted strips!

Carefully place the print image side down and sandwich it between the wood strips. Use clamps to secure the poster and strips in place. Drill six pilot holes for 3/8th inch wood screws.
Make sure to have your assistant double check the measurements.
Add the wood screws and picture frame mounting bracket. Repeat steps minus picture frame bracket on the bottom edge of the frame. That's it!
 I LOVE how simple and clean this looks! I'm a little nervous that it will get bumped off the wall, but It's been up for a week and we haven't had any problems. So far, so good! What's your favorite way to display prints and posters?
This post is linked up with:
Classy Clutter Spotlight Satruday 3.16.14

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Art for the Kitchen - A Black Botanical Print

Have I mentioned that have a History degree and Jesse has an Art History degree? This post gets a little art-history-nerdy, so I apologize in advance! 

Are you familiar with these beautiful black botanical prints? I've been lusting after one for a while and I thought their bold colors and agricultural nature would be apropos in our kitchen. The perfect excuse to buy one! 
Educational Chart Black Botanical Print
The prints are reproductions of a German educational charts designed by Jung Koch Quentell in the mid 20th Century. They cover an array of scientific subjects and are so beautiful with brightly colored images on deep black backgrounds. The prints were originally published by Fromann and Morian until the 1930's and then by Hagemann until the late 1960's. 
Educational Chart Black Botanical PrintA handful of the Hagemann versions are available on Etsy and range between $250 and $400. High quality, full sized reproductions can be purchased from The Evolution Store (a place I'd love to visit!) and run just under $200. Lower quality reproductions are also available in a variety of subjects and sizes on Zazzle and that's where we purchased ours. I'm a little dismayed that the edges around the flowers are hazy in some places, but the paper is a nice heavy archival quality with a matte finish. Overall, at just under $70, I'm quite happy with the purchase.
Educational Chart Black Botanical PrintFraming the print would have cost a pretty penny, probably more than the print itself. To save on cost, we sandwiched the print between two pieces of wood at the top and bottom (click here for the tutorial). I like this solution because it reflects the print's original purpose as an educational chart. However, I'm a little nervous that a breeze from the back door or curious kiddo fingers will pull it off the wall. I plan to keep an eye out for a secondhand frame that matches the dimensions.

Also, Nicole Balch's style is definitely rubbing off on me (which isn't a bad thing!) because when I was doing a little research on black botanical prints for this post, I found a post from her on this exact topic. Who knew?!

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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Let's Talk Rugs for the Dining Room

I'm gonna pull the trigger on a rug for the dining room...As soon as I decide which one to get! Maybe talking it though will help. Here are my six favorite rug options, all are priced between $150 and $650.
OK, let's take a look at some dining room eye candy and discuss.
Gosh this room from The Interior Collective is lovely. The pastel colored shell chairs with the rustic table, landscape paintings and black fireplace...It's perfect in my book. However, note the absence of a rug, which I don't think would be right for our space.
Kilim rugs are popping up everywhere and I love the vibrant colors and geometric patterns. Rug number three is beautiful and I think it would look great, but I can't justify the price tag. There are a handful of things in life that I believe are worth investing in; high quality sheets, well fitting jeans and good vodka to name a few. A rug I might not like in a year? Meh.
I'm loving black and white striped rugs and basically anything black and white. Although I love the Aztec-ish design of rug number five, I'm worried I won't like it in a year. As for number six, I don't know...Are those stripes too 'jailhouse jumpsuit'? I have it narrowed down, but I still might need to flip a coin! Which one do you like?  Here's what the dining area looks like currently.

And can I just say...Scandinavia .That's where it's at. Seriously, those folks have chic living figured out. I just started following a blog from Sweden called AprillAprill. Have you heard of it?