Happy Friday everyone! Today is particularly special to my wife and I as it marks the 5-year anniversary we’ve been living in our home and in Austin. Five years! That’s hard for me to believe. I still remember being nervous about making the house offer, second-guessing the decision immediately after, and then being a little apprehensive about moving to the city of Austin itself.

Things have certainly changed, and I couldn’t imagine living in another house or in another city. We followed the “location, location, location” mantra and picked something close to the city and that has made a lot of difference. Our place has become a stop point for most of our friends, as we usually convene at our place before going out to dinner or some event. The location has made it convenient to meet a lot of great people, and you really can’t discount that at all. New restaurants and more Austin places are popping up down the street as well, and it’s exciting to see our little ‘hood grow up. I love it.

We’ve done a lot to our home in those five years. The place we moved into bears little resemblance to what it is today. Textured walls, painted rooms, renovating an upstairs studio apartment, landscaping and cleaning up the backyard were all big projects for us. I’ve particularly enjoyed furnishing all the rooms as well, and the DIY spirit behind those projects is what fueled my passion toward blogging and sharing things online in the first place. Let’s take a quick look back at some before and afters…

Curb Appeal:
Before:

After:

The Backyard:
Before:

After:

The Studio Apartment (we rent this out now and it’s totally been a great resource)…
Before:

After:

Before:

After:

The Office:
Before/After

Living Room:
Before/After

I’ve got a few big items I want to tackle in the next 5 years, and what looms largest are plans for another backyard studio, a stone-brick pizza oven, and renovating the master bathroom. I have sketches and a clear vision of how I want all these to things to turn out, but the scale of the projects leave me a little reluctant to start. But, I’ll get there, and I’m looking forward to it. But enough about that, it’s Friday after all and here on MetropoChris that mean’s it time to get your sexy on. So let’s make a cocktail.

Since I’m in the celebratory spirit, let’s make a celebratory drink. How about a champagne cocktail?

Champagne Cocktail

makes 1 (adapted from Speakeasy cocktail book)

  • – 1/2 oz Gran Marnier
  • – Brut Champagne
  • – 1/4 tsp sugar
  • – Angosturo Bitters

1. Drop the 1/2 oz of Gran Marnier in the bottom of a champagne flute.

2. Fill glass about 3/4 of the way with the Champagne.

3. Take 1/4 tsp of sugar, and drizzle 4-5 drops of Angosturo bitters over top, just until all the sugar becomes red.

4. Stir measuring spoon into drink and then serve.

*Be careful, the sugar can cause the drink to get super bubbly and it may overfill. So try to add a little bit of the sugar at a time.

Toast with me for a great five years!

Five years of being a homeowner, my own interior designer, electrician, plumber, and all around handyman. And perhaps more importantly to five years of being in Austin, a place that through its great people has done so much to open my mind to food, art, and design. Here’s to the next five years! Cheers!



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