Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Master

I haven't elaborated much on our master bedroom and bath 
on our house tour page for two reasons. 
#1.  It most always is a mess. 
#2.  We don't necessarily have a 'master suite' 
There's not much too it and the decor is 'still in the works' 
We're going to eventually need a king size bed.  Right now we are using Chad's bed from
when he was young (which is a beautiful set), but one day I'd love to have
something a bit less traditional.  
I'd also love to change out the picture above the bed.
It's never been my favorite.
I'm hoping to have my mom paint over it.
I've been pinning some ideas for her to copy to my
'Artsy' board on Pinterest. 

Or, I may just hang these four shell prints above the bed.
I've always loved these.
Such a deal at $12/ea at TJMaxx.
Right now they hang over a dresser that holds our t.v., but we may be replacing the t.v. soon,
so the shells can be relocated. 
This room definitely needs some love. 
Some drapes and organization! 

Any ideas, send them my way!
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Milky Way

I've never really been an antique person. 
However, a few years ago I stumbled across Mr. Eddie Ross. 
If you don't know who I'm talking about, click here for his bio 
and take a glance at his fantastic work. 
After seeing how beautiful 'select' antiques 
can be paired with modern furnishings and decor.....I'm now an antique shopper. 
His centerpieces and tablescapes made me wonder why 
I hadn't broadened my shopping horizons before now.
I had a milk glass pedestal bowl from my grandmother 
and loved it.  It sparked my interest to get some more pieces and 
expand my collection. 
I adore milk glass.  It's timeless, beautiful, easily found, versatile, 
and very affordable. 
Here's one of the 2 pedestals I have on the mantle.
I walked into an antique store one day and on the way in the door,
I spotted the twin of the one I already had in an office window.
After exploring the whole mall, I asked on of the clerks about it,
she emptied it of a stack of receipts and the inch of dust and said, "20 bucks?"
It was fate.  
This Christmas, I added some gold and silver glass ornaments to them.

After my MIL found out I was on the milk glass hunt,
she gave me this gorgeous hobnail Fenton footed bowl
for my birthday this year.
I've been using it as a jewelry bowl in my bedroom
I love the ruffle edge detail.
So pretty.
Here's another piece she gave me for Christmas this year. 
Here's a vase I picked up the same day I scored the pedestal bowl.
I didn't have a vase this size or shape and loved it.
I could't pass it up for $4. 
I also picked up this hobnail bowl/vase. 
I think this one was only $5. 
This one is beautifully opaque and has a ruffled edge also. 
I'd love to have the match to this one too. 

It isn't a surprise to me that I've become so engrossed in milk glass this year. 
I'm a sucker for any white porcelain piece or serveware. 
My future plan is to paint the inside of the bar cabinets a very dark color to 
show off some of my favorite white pieces. 
I'll keep you updated on that......I've got to find the perfect paint color!
Happy Monday!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Valentine Heart Banner

One dolla!  
One whole dollar!
I spotted a pack of these on the Dollar aisle at Target. 
One dollar for a pack of 10 foam hearts.
You couldn't buy the foam at a craft store for this cheap and cut them out yourself!
Pre-cut hearts?
Get in my buggy!!
I folded each of them in half and using whole punch,
made 2 small wholes to run ribbon through 
Remember my banner for Beckett's Birthday?
And Lauren's baby Shower?
I saved the ribbon each time I made banners so it was the
perfect length of the mantle already. 
 Festive, cheap and easy. 
I heart this banner!
Happy Weekend everyone! 

Couch Potatoes

He's been enjoying his chair!
Like father, like son...

Happy Weekend, everyone!!  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda

Just a warning: this is gonna be a long one!  Get cozy and grab your glasses (or your husbands glasses if you can't locate your own, Donna and Mary...)!
I never played with Barbie dolls as a kid.  Decorating and rearranging furniture in Barbie's dream house was more my speed.  My cousins would get mad at me when I'd stay with them and rearrange the furniture in THEIR doll houses. 
I never became an interior designer.  Even though, it's what I always had a passion for.....life got in the way!  I couldn't wait to have my own space to decorate, that's why when we built the house, I was in hog heaven.  I'd been waiting on this my whole life!  Never did I realize how hard and stressful it is.  
Not only are all the financial decisions very hard to make, you're asked to make decisions about every single detail of a home from the foundation to the tip of the roof.  
I had ideas on what kind of granite I wanted well before the house plans arrived, but what kind of shingles I wanted on the roof?  Well, I'll have to think about that!!  
Enter my obsession with blogs.  I found quite a few that I still follow to this day.  Some were d.i.y. blogs, others featured gorgeous interiors of which I saved gazillions of pictures for inspiration to hand to the builder.  So many times, instead of knowing the name of something, I'd hand him a picture I'd printed from the internet telling him, "make it look just like this..." 
Overall, I'm more than pleased with our home.  It makes my heart skip a beat when I drive up the driveway everyday and see what WE built together.  I feel so blessed that I live there and that our little boy is fortunate enough to have room to spread out and that we have enough room to expand our family when we're ready to.  Hopefully, this won't be our last house we build (don't freak out Chad, not NOW!), but later in life, when we get closer to the age when it's harder to get up the stairs, it might be time to do it again. 
I learned so much doing this, I'd love to do it again!  If only Pinterest were around about 4 years ago....I'd be SET!! 

Anyway, here's a little taste of what I feel like we got coulda done, shoulda done, and woulda done if there were more time and money, and well.....more blogs and pinterest boards to follow!!! 

The Mistakes and Regrets: 
What can I say?
I was hell bent on a dark hardwood.
I wanted a high contrast look and Chad was very interested in white
cabinetry, so we compromised.
He got his white cabinets, I got my espresso floors.
Ok, so they look pretty good, I'll give you that, but drop one crumb,
one piece of lint, one grain of sand or salt........YUCK!
I could sweep the floors 4-5 times a day and still have a mess before I go to bed. 
If I were to choose again, I would choose something much lighter, with a more 
defined grain. 
Oh well....
The tile!  
Are you asking what tile??,,,,,,,Exactly!
Oh the tile regret I have for NOT doing a backsplash in the kitchen!
Everything I wanted was out of our price range at the time and 
I should have settled for timeless white subway tile and called it a day. 
I was so indecisive at the time and couldn't choose!  
We ended up just saying, oh well, we can always do it later. 
Now we have a kid.  
Shoulda added some pretty windowpane moulding up the staircase....
I should have used the dormers to our benefit.  
This is something that can easily be fixed later.  
We have three dormers on the top floor.  One in B's room, one in the 
upstairs lounge area, and one in the bathroom (the toilet sits in that one) 
In the future, I think I'll have someone build a window seat in the dormer in the lounge area
with an added light fixture to make it a 'reading nook' 
I'd love to do away with the extra storage mini doors (which
I never should have added, it makes me think we have elves living with us)
and turn one into a built-in bookshelf.  Maybe even turn the
mini door into a bookshelf on hinges with hidden storage space behind it.

Here's a little something we changed and I'm not sure I'm glad we did.
The nook with the bamboo chairs was originally a wall of built-ins.
Thanks to pinterest and design blogs and all the gorgeous built-in
bookshelves I come across everyday, I sort of wish we would have kept them.
No fear though, I have accent wall plans for this little nook......and the foyer!

What we may have actually gotten right: 
I bought every single mirror and bathroom hardware piece
(hand towel rings, hooks, toilet paper holders) at
places like Marhsalls, Ross, TJ Maxx and Target.
(Lowes and Home Depot can get pretty pricey)
The oval mirror in the half bath was around $19 at Marshall's and I
saw a very similar one at Home Depot for over $100
Yay me! 
My MIL had some higher cabinets with dividers built in like this in her house 
and I always thought it was the smartest idea ever. 
I copied her and dang, I'm glad I did!  The built-in dividers are fantastic for 
cookie sheets, platters, serveware, placemats and cutting boards.
This bar area wasn't in our house plans. 
It was originally a double door pantry. 
The laundry room is right off the kitchen with extra storage (cleaning closet, etc) 
so we decided to have pantry shelves built in place of the storage to hold our pantry items and 
use the 'pantry space' as a bar/beverage center. 
We like to entertain and this area has been fantastic for parties, showers, and get togethers. 
Not only did we create extra counterspace, but it creates extra fridge space and more space for 
drink ware, not to mention, it's right beside the dining room. 
Speaking of bars, this one wasn't in the plans either. 
Originally, the bar was on the opposite side of the kitchen, jutting out from the wall 
where the desk began.
My husband loves to watch t.v. when he eats dinner and the way the plans were set up, that 
wouldn't work out as well. 
In the original plans, the opening to the living room was much smaller. 
I had our architect push the left wall back further and add the angled bar so Chad could 
get his t.v. fix while he ate dinner. 
However, this made the space in the breakfast nook much smaller 
(too small for a table and chairs), 
which is why it became sort of like a 'keeping room' 
We still had seating with the bar stools anyway, so it all works out for us perfectly.

Whew!  There are actually plenty of other things I would change or do differently, but in all reality, none of it bothers me. If it were perfect, I would have nothing to gripe about, no future projects to undertake and how much fun would that be?  
The thing I like most about the house is the fact that we handpicked everything in it. 
No help from a designer.  I feel more a part of it knowing that I chose it all.....which makes it even more special to me.  
Ok, I'm finally done.  Well, I'll never really be done....but I'm done with this post. 

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Product Love

Here's some of what has been making my life easier lately
Burt's Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes with White Tea, 30 Count (Pack of 2)
Burt's Bees face wipes
My newest face wipe fave.
I'm in a hurry to get my face clean before I go to
bed, so face wipes are always quick and easy.
They smell good and are super soft.
I'm a huge fan of BB's lip balm so I wasn't
too surprised I liked these so much. 

We keep one of these compact Black and Decker screwdrivers in the kitchen drawer.
It comes in handy waaaay more than I ever would have thought.
Do you have any idea how many toys require a screwdriver to change the batteries?
Good Night Charleston (Good Night Our World series)
Beckett got "Good Night Charleston" for Christmas.
It's a quick tour through Chucktown that
highlights some great spots.
You can find many other cities in the series also. 
Paul Mitchell Protools Express Ionstyle Professional Styler
I'm kind of the guru when it comes to flat irons.
I've tried them all.  Chi, GHD (fantastic one too), T3, but this one
lately has been my favorite.
According to my hairdresser, if you bought a Chi recently, you've almost
wasted your money.  They aren't made the same and I can agree to that.
My old school Chi bit the dust a while back and I upgraded to the GHD, which I loved,
but it gave me too much volume (I have really big frizzball hair--no need for volume!), so
I started using the Paul Mitchell  one again.
SUCH a huge difference!
It has silicone strips on one of the plates that make it
straighten out the hair with fewer passes.
I found it worked better to put the plates on the underside of the hair for
a smoother look.
Smoooooth hair makes me happy!
Suave Professionals Dry Shampoo Spray, Beautiful Clean, 5-Ounce
The drugstore was out of Pssssst (my usual dry shampoo)
so I went with the Suave. 
Even cheaper than Pssssst and it smells pretty good too.
Cheaper is good. Very good! 
Built Cargo Large Camera Bag
I was in dire need of a new camera bag.
One that didn't have huge pockets all over the place and
I got tired of lugging around a ginormous bag that was bigger than Beckett.
This neoprene camera bag by BUILT is fantastic.
It's lightweight and has removable lens organizers along with
slim pockets on the inside for my filters, cheat sheets and extra memory cards.
It easily holds my camera with a lens attached and two extra lenses plus hoods.
I got the large size but it also comes in medium.

Got any great items you've discovered that I need to know about?
Happy Wednesday.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sheet Search

This has to be the most weird and random post I've ever written and I can't believe that I'm brave enough to hit the publish button after this,  but I'm kind of curious.

Back in the day, I was obsessed with sheets.  I thought Ralph Lauren Estate sheets were the
best thing. EVER.  They began carrying them at Stein Mart and I can remember I saved up for a
set.  I would buy one part of the set each paycheck.

I would switch them out with these Ralph Lauren Charlotte sheets (pictured below) that I
got at TJ Maxx.  However, after saving for the Estate sheets and decorating my room around
the eggplant color that I bought, I ended up falling in love with these floral sheets even more.

NOW, don't adjust your computer screens or reach for your eyeglasses.  These are very 1990s.
But they are by far THE best sheets EVER!  They are SO soft and feel fantastic.  I can't get rid of them.
However, over the years, white sheets have become the staple in our house.

I've since bought many different sets of designer sheets, but every time I pull them out of the packaging,
I'm so disappointed that they don't hold a candle to the dated RL floral pattern sheets that
I love so much.

Does anyone know exactly what kind of RL sheets these are and why OH WHY can't I find these in
white or any other up-to-date pattern or color?  Or anything similar??  I'm pretty sure they are only 200 threadcount.
Believe it or not, I pulled these out of the bottom of the closet, threw them in the
washer and put them on my bed.
I felt like I had gone back in time.
Sometimes comfort outweighs pretty.
At least for this week. 

Weekend in Review

I love a good rainy, lazy, do-nothing weekend!  We've had so much going on lately, it's so nice to have some time to just veg around the house. Beckett's baffling us with his growing skills again.  I find my mouth dropping to the ground on a regular basis at something new he does or says.  It's awesome and scary all at the same time.
I walked into the laundry room to this on Saturday morning.
Chad let's B help him load the dryer.
He loves to help with anything.

He blows kisses on demand now too.
For a while, he would blow air out his nose (confused because we hold
a tissue to his nose and say 'blow' when he's got a runny nose)
He's got it figured out now though.
He puts his toys away when we ask him too.
I'm pretty sure this is only temporary though.  He loves putting items into baskets,
clothes into the dryer, etc.  Unfortunately, I know this is most likely just a phase.....I'm happily
enjoying it while it lasts though. 

He's getting to be such a big boy and becoming even more verbal every day.  He can repeat plenty
of things when you ask him to now and shakes his head 'no' and nods 'yes' to questions we ask.  
I was on the phone with Lauren recently and asked him to say "Anna" and he repeated it so clearly,
it baffled both of us!  He's also become very fond of the word "mine!"  I guess we need to add 
sharing to the lesson plan in the near future. 

Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend!  On to a new week......already??

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings are my favorite comfort food. 
I have literally gotten out of my chair and left The Cracker Barrel when they 
tell me they are out.  Just ask my husband. 
He orders the same thing, so we both get pretty bummed. 
No kidding. 
I looooove them. 
I was sick a few weeks ago and mama was at my house and lent me a few 
pointers on how she cooks them. 
Here goes....
1 seasoned store bought rotisserie chicken (I don't like the smell of chicken boiling
and this is much easier)
1 large package Mary B's dumplings
1 large carton of Swanson chicken broth
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups of water (or a little more if you want the soup thinner)
Salt and Pepper (I load it down with pepper)
In a large pot, bring chicken broth, both cans of soup and water to a vigorous boil.
Break frozen dumplings strips into fourths and add to boiling pot, stirring between
each strip to prevent sticking.
After all the dumplings have been added, turn pot on low and simmer for 35 minutes.
Pull off large pieces of chicken and add to the pot.
Simmer on low for another 10-15 minutes.

Tastes a lot like Cracker Barrel and super easy. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Out and About - Southeastern Salvage

Today I had to get out of the office for a much needed break, it's starting to look a lot like tax
season around the joint and I needed a breather.
SO.....since I'm on wallet lockdown, I decided to see what Southeastern Salvage had to offer us.
If you aren't familiar with the store, let me break it down for you.  I stumbled across this wonderful establishment RIGHT AFTER I moved into my house.
Had they been open when we were building, I could have saved a chunk of change.
They carry all sorts of random goodness.  Decorative items, garden pieces, plenty of outdoor furniture, indoor furniture, pillows, even jewelry.
They also carry tile granite, sinks, hoods, well.....pretty much everything, including the kitchen sink.
Now that I have you intrigued, here's what I spotted today.
I would love a set of these horns, or tusks, or whatever  they are...
The black ones on top would be great as bookends and the
ones on the two lower shelves would be a great addition to a mantle 
Prices weren't too shabby
They always have these market totes in stock ($12) and do monogramming  in the store.
VERY reasonable monogramming!
These totes are fantastic to keep in the car with extra diapers, wipes, change of clothes.....
ya never know!
I have a LOT of these at home!
Very much like the Ballard version.
Wooden bread bowl ($12) 
Horn magnifying glass ($12)
I've seen these elsewhere for much more! 
Loved these retro outdoor pieces.
$129 for the love seat.
These reminded me a lot of a set my grandparent's had on their porch when I was little 
Cool assortment of metal seating ($79) 
X Back dining chairs.
I REALLY love these.
$77/ea.  Very similar to Ballard's Constance chairs 
If you remember my older post about these,
well, they got a new shipment!
Stainless pendant light fixture.
Would go great over an island or bar.
I'll take one of these in black, please! $199
Santa brought Beckett one of these for Christmas!
Only $18.88!
I wonder if he got it here! 

And by the way, I refrained from buying one thing!!!! 

Happy Weekend!