Friday, October 21, 2011

A Bedroom Remix Update

Look; we hung curtains!

I think the bedroom looks much more finished with them there. We bought the curtains from Ikea when we were in DC for my work trip, and then my friend Angie, who is a fantastic seamstress, hemmed them to the perfect length for our windows. I prefer the look of hanging curtains above the top of the window frame; these curtains are hung an individual foot above the window.

In other design news, I bought this rug. I've been completely fascinated by Kilim and Turkish rugs ever since this house crash at Young House Love. Usually, the prices are way out of our budget, so this one seemed like quite the find. (And Overstock's shipping costs are so amazing.) Now, I just have to figure out the right place to put it. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 7, 2011

My other life -

I'm an avid blogger reader. An ideal morning for me includes a wog (walk/jog) with my dear friend, some Bible time, and blog reading - all before 9 AM. Obviously, ideal means it doesn't always happen. When perusing blogs, I enjoy seeing people's lovely houses, adorable kids, and beyond clever crafts/outfits, Etsy businesses, social rants, etc. I am quite jealous (if I may be so honest in my choice of words) of some folks' abilities, attitudes, and home decor. However, blogging is so fun because I get to chose who I read and if I can't stomach their content, I simply don't check their site.

That being said, I have this other life. It's not super glamorous,and I can't pitch my wares, since I don't personally control what is sold or nor do I really market anything especially interesting (to most of you). I don't work with celebrities or have the need to wear high fashion on a daily basis. I don't work in full-time missions or teach under-privileged childen. I'm not a stay-at-home mom (which in my book, totally qualifies as work), since we don't have kids (yet). I just work. And that's ok.

Sometimes I feel in the blog world that having a job like mine doesn't qualify as "important" or "impacting". But the thing is, it does and I am. And so are you. Your job isn't all you are, but it is part of you. So, on Friday, October 7, please know that whether you teach or sell or market or manage or clean or cook or study or do anything else that might not seem shiny and exciting, it is important to someone. You're impacting others through your attitude and your effort. And that's awesome.

I needed the reminder. (Colossians 3:17)

Full disclosure: I work in marketing for a super large technology company. I am proud of my job career, and the work I do. I am blessed to work from home (Most days in my life primarily feature my laptop, my phone, my husband, my dog, and coffee.), and the people I work with keep me challenged and laughing. Most of them don't read this blog, but if they do, they might need the reminder, too.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Ask the chief.

As I mentioned approximately eight weeks ago (but who's counting?), my husband made the next rank in the Navy. After six weeks of preparation (including daily PT, a weekend-long trip to Washington DC, a week-long trip to Boston, and multiple nights of male-style crafting), the preparation was complete, and we celebrated! I'm thankful to have my husband now focused on job hunting back, and my husband is happy to not have to get up at 4:45 AM every weekday.

The culmination of the chief selectee process is the pinning ceremony. My parents, my sister and nephew, and some dear friends were all able to join us for the ceremony. My dad, Brandon's "bestie", David (They would not use that phrase, of course.), and I each had a role in the ceremony itself. David and Dad pinned on his anchors, and I put on his new hat. (I was especially excited, because this new hat is much more stately and flattering.)

There was also some handshaking involved.

We took (too few) pictures to commemorate, including this one of Brandon and I beside a bell of obvious symbolic importance; they rang it each time they announced a new chief.

As an aside, Brandon and I have the unfortunate habit of consistently posing for pictures as if we are brother and sister - a brother and sister who get along extremely well but brother and sister, none the less. Claire (David's wife) took this picture of us actually discussing how to pose so this wouldn't happen, but, as evidenced by the photo above, the results are the same.

After the completion of the ceremony, we moved into our "military balls" weekend. The first - on Friday - was the Khaki Ball, which is a celebration by chiefs and for chiefs (plus their wives), and the second - on Saturday - was the Joint Forces Ball, which by some stoke of unfortunate timing, fell on the following day. I especially enjoyed the second one because we set with friends and enjoyed people watching and uniform discussing (many, many ranks from all five branches were represented).

Oddly enough, I wore the same thing both nights, and Brandon was the one with different uniform requirements for each.

Night 1: Khaki Ball

 Night 2: Joint Forces Ball

Sadly, I didn't think to specifically request a full body photo*, so I snagged these pictures of my outfit off the internet. I specifically wanted to draw attention to my shoes, which were intense and made B pause in mid-sentence (He was saying, "Why do you need more...?") and change his tune to, "You're gonna look hot." My ankles were much less sure.

(Image via, dress purchased from Copper Penny, Mt. P, as a sweet gift from the hubs)

Lately life as been a bit more "military" than usual, but I'm so proud of B for all he's accomplished in his ten years of service. There is a joke in the Navy that if you have any question "Ask the chief," which means my husband now officially qualifies to answer all the random questions I come up with.

*Please note that between the two evenings there were SIX photo taking stations, prom style, with a variety of backgrounds. My husband and I are the immature type who snickered at the scene and didn't actually take advantage of the opportunity to re-live high school. If I was a real blogger, I definitely would have taken a picture of it, but I'm not, so you'll just have to take my word for it. I will miss making fun of them when B gets out of the Navy.

P.S. It's good to be back.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Caffeinated Wordless Wednesday

Just in case you haven't discovered these babies.

By the way, I will be back soon. Job hunts, prepping the house for rent, long work days, college football season, new small groups and fall TV have been been our world. And I'm thankful.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Our Bedroom Furniture Remix

I just finished up a mini-makeover in our bedroom, and I have to say that I find the results quite satisfactory.

For months, my big mental design goal was to get rid of the awkwardly placed/used console table which held our old-school, but perfectly functioning TV. When I couldn't sleep at night, I'd play out different scenarios in which I'd paint it or refinish it or replace it all together. But, in real life, it just sat there, annoying me. Until I realized it was a perfect fit between my side of the bed and the wall. Interesting.

Beyond this discovery, I knew we weren't using the space (or the furniture) in our bedroom well. And preparing to put our house up or sale or on the rental market was just the catalyst I needed to try my hand at a "style remix." (I'm totally paying homage to a show on HGtv, when it was still really cheesy, where they did a couple of room makeovers over the course of 30 minutes, including one for no money at all.)

Baring in mind that I'm not at all quite yet a lifestyle photojournalist, here are the before shots. It's not bad, per say, just a little dark and uninteresting.

And here are the after shots. I did purchase the quilt from West Elm (which I've obsessively mentioned on the blog), but otherwise everything was ours - just shifted.

It's not going to get us featured on a home decorating show any time soon, but I'm super pleased with the different that 30 minutes of furniture shifting made.

 I just noticed the shoebox my husband shoved under the dresser. Also, yes, that is a piggy bank featuring Pedro from South of the Border.

This is my favorite part. A lovely desk/reading spot right by the window.

And because a woman's brain is never finished redecorating, if I could convince B to do a couple of DYI projects with me, I would love to emulate this high chair railing meets photo wall on the wall opposite the bed.

I'm in love. Maybe in the next house!

Monday, August 8, 2011

A Semi-Weekend Update and New Shoes!

I have the best husband ever*. His patience for my antics is unwavering. Sometimes, it baffles me. This weekend, I was pretty down on myself. A bunch of stuff is piling up on my plate at work, and our life is filled with an atypical (albeit, temporary) amount of uncertainties that I have a (bad) habit of letting myself get weighed down with. So, that being said, he was especially thoughtful of me this weekend. On Friday, I came home to one of these. (I always say I'm not a flowers girl, but it still gets me every time.)

That night, we stayed home (my choice) and played Scrabble. (I totally kill in that game (unless I play my dad, who taught me all my tricks). Also, I'm slightly addicted to Wordfeud on my phone. Would you like to play with me?)

On Saturday, he had a carwash fundraiser for work, so I ventured to the movie theater to see Crazy, Stupid, Love. It was a rainy Saturday afternoon here - perfect for a solo movie viewing.

My review is as follows: I really enjoyed the movie, although I enjoyed two of the interrelated story lines more than the others. It wasn't "dirty," but it had very mature themes, so I'd hesistate to recommend it wholeheartedly. I do think that, for better or for worse, it was a very real (with a few exceptions) take on a very real situation. Ryan Gosling is quite the hottie, and Emma Stone is one of my favorite twenty-something actresses.

We had some fun times with friends on Saturday night, with a little not-for-profit poker.

But, here's the clincher. This weekend was "tax free weekend" in South Carolina. So, after church, we headed out to run some errands, and I came home with these bad boys.

Vibram FiveFingers KomodoSport

I have an odd running style, so I'm hoping these might actually help my form. Initially, I won't be running in them at all. I'll stick to walking and then gradually introduce running. They are awfully ugly, and I joked with my husband that it's slightly ironic that we're now wearing shoes designed to mimic the human foot. Couldn't we just walk around barefoot and get the same effect?

I'll keep you posted on my Vibram adventure. Have any of you made the switch?

*I fully expect you to disagree with me, and argue that your husband (or significant other) is the best. In fact, I hope so. Because if we had a world full of the best husbands and significant others (and brothers and dads and uncles), I'm pretty sure the world would be a more awesome place.

Joining up with Carissa for Miscellany Monday.

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Family visits and touristy adventures

This weekend was simple and full. We snuck in a Friday night "date" before the hubs' dad and stepmother arrived to hang out with us the rest of the weekend.

Here is my hot husband with a cart full of groceries. How about that for a date night?

After we finished shopping for food, we window-shopped for new TOMS - also at the grocery store.
(Yes, we went to Whole Foods; no, that is not our normal grocery store.)

We took his parents to the Charleston Aquarium. It was Shark Week, so the afternoon feature at the big tank was a game show called "Sharkelogy 101".

Oddly, he didn't think an afternoon at the aquarium warranted a picture.

The view from there.

We had an early dinner at Fleet Landing, which I highly recommend for mid-priced seafood if you ever visit our lowcountry location.

A Saturday night of games.

Church on Sunday.

This is my favorite picture. The hubs and his folks headed back downtown after church on Sunday while I stayed at home feeling a bit under the weather. I asked him to "bring me something back," and he brought home this ornament. It was a perfect choice because I've been collecting ornaments from places we visit, but I didn't have one for our current hometown yet. I did tease him about that being an "old man" purchase.
Gratituous dog picture. You're welcome.

I very much enjoyed playing tourist in our own town this weekend.

The icing on the cake was when my sweet better half found out he was selected for a promotion (in miltary terms, he made rank). Woo hoo! I'm SO proud of him. 

(This post brought to you by "Sydney got a new smartphone with one of those picture apps, and she's still really excited about it." Ha!)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Friday Favorites (and a YHL comment)

This week was a bit frustrating. We met with another real estate agent, and his outlook on selling our house was - to be expected - just as bleak as every else's. Now, we're considering renting instead of selling. This is relieving in some ways, since selling was going to cost us money, but renting brings with it its own set of challenges.

However, my feelings of frustration - they are relative. I have so much to be thankful for.

My sweet husband -
who let me order the new bedding I was drooling over in this post.
who helping me completely rearrange our bedroom furniture on a my whim on Wednesday night.
who cleaned the floors for me while I went to Target on Thursday night, referring to himself as my "house husband."
who picked up dinner for us when I didn't feel like cooking.

My sister -
who dropped some skinny jeans in the mail for me to try on because they were too small for my nephew - just for fun. (Sidenote: I so wanted these jeans to fit because I thought it would be fun to say, "Oh these old new things? My sister picked them up in the men's department at TJMaxx for $7." Sadly, when I put them on and couldn't get them anywhere close to buttoned (despite the waist size being 3 inches larger than the jeans I own), I realized there was probably a good reason they were marked as irregular and still on the clearance rack.)

My house -
which regardless of whether we sell or rent is cool inside despite 100 degree days.
has a pantry and refrigerator with plenty inside.
is wireless, DVRed and all those other technological wonders I take for granted.

My dog -
who we've decided is the living epitome of Dug, from the movie Up (The Hubs cries when he watches Up.)

who is willing to go for a walk(!) or a car ride(!) or pay outside(!) or do tricks(!) anytime.

My health (I'll admit that the stress I'm self-imposing is doing a number on my scalp and skin (something I'm used to, it's been the case for many years) but -
it's good. And my husband's is good. And my parents'.
(Although, I would definitely appreciate any natural tips for combatting dry scalp, and MILD ezcema/psorasis.)

And I could go on, but I won't (and can't, because I'm technically working right now!).

I'm thankful for all these favorites today. (And linking up with Rachel at Finding Joy.)

friday favorite things | finding joy

Also, on a super "blog geek" sidenote: I definitely got my first "comment response" from Sherry at this week. Umm - I freaked out, and I also did a screen grab for posterity.

Friday, July 22, 2011

New Polish, Courtesy of JB

I saw some fun lime green nail polish in my newest Real Simple - something that I would not normally wear. I picked up a comparable color at Target yesterday, and today, my fingers (and toes) are sporting a new look.

Sidenote: I have not painted my fingernails in probably two years. Close up, it looks AWFUL.

Look who I have to thank for the color.

As I'm sure you did not guessed, I get to thank Mr. Justin Beiber.

This color is from his "The Less Lonely Girl" collection, "Designed with the fans, for the fans."

That's eye roll inducing, but the color - One Time Lime - is pretty fun. Happy Friday.

(Color is by Nicole by O.P.I.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Great Bedroom (Design) Debate

B and I worked together to pick the paint colors for each room in our house.

We picked a neutral vibrant tan for the dining room, and this color for the great room and kitchen:

Sherwin Williams Essential Gray

I like the latter so much that I would happily use again in our next house. In the bedrooms we used a bit more color, including a rich gray blue in the bedroom. 

This is an older picture, but it gives you an idea of the color.

Unfortunately, we painted the house before we were married, and therefore before I moved in, so I didn't realize that despite two windows, that room doesn't get much sun, save a couple hours each day. So, add a rich gray blue, and it's down right dark. Thankfully, the room is plenty large enough to support a darker color (if you're of the mindset that dark colors make a room look smaller), but I'm not convinced it's the right color for the room when we put it on the market.

Of course, the hubs really doesn't want to repaint (or pay someone else to do it). So, the other morning he offered up this little nugget:

"You know what an easier way to lighten up the bedroom would be? We could replace our [brown] duvet with a lighter one."

He just tossed that out there. As if I'd nod and move along with my life. It's almost as if he disregarded that that was practically license to buy new bed linens.

So, I've been browsing. Realistically, I may not get to pull the trigger, but the combination of colors and ruffles and masculine details companies are selling is making the interior designer in me drool.

And my ultimate favorite find:

While walking our dog last night, I reminded the hubs about the new duvet/quilt comment. I told him I'd found a few options. In turn, he called me "the human elephant" (because I never forget).

I do love a good compliment.

Also, thoughts on the above options? (I definitely think cream/gray is a safer bet than white.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Craigslist Miscellany

I have a secret. Until yesterday, I had never successfully sold anything on Craigslist. (Bought something? Ha! All the time, much to the hub's dismay.) But yesterday, I posted six things, and I sold three of them the same day. It's quite the rush.

 Good-bye, end table. You served us well.
Thanks for the memories, sweet painted nightstand 
(previously lime green thanks to a college apartment color fling).

We also sold full mattress set that we'd inherited with a bedroom set but didn't need. The family who bought it was replacing their 8-year-old daughter hand-me-down king mattress. Apparently, she was against the replacement, but they thought a full was much more suitable for a little girl. That story made me laugh, since I slept in a twin bed until my second year of college.

Now, I'm trying to figure out e-bay. Any advice? I have a couple of nicer bags to sell that I doubt will sell on Craiglist.


With my blow money, I did indeed buy the shorts I mentioned last Monday. While I was there, I also picked up this shirt (horrible modeling by yours truely).

AE boyfriend shirt, where have you been all my life? (Also, I picked mine up on clearance for 50 percent off.)

I really should learn to iron.


I am typing this blog entry on the rogue during work hours, so I've got to get back to what I'm supposed to be doing. We're meeting with a second real estate agent tonight. I don't expect the financial outlook to be much brighter, but I'm choosing to trust God's plan. Right now, we still believe that selling is the better option for us, even if we do have to dip into savings. I'd love some stories of positive sales experiences, post real estate crash, if you have them. 

For all you Dave Ramsey folks, the real estate agent and her husband are on baby step 7 - build wealth and give. How cool is that?

Linking up with Carissa:

Miscellany Monday @ lowercase letters

Friday, July 15, 2011

A bear of a week needs a good song.

This week has been a bear. Work has be rough. And yesterday, we met with a realtor about the possibility of putting our house on the market (in anticipation of a likely move - more to come), and the numbers are disheartening.

This morning, as I was running through scenarios in my mind on the way to drop one of our cars off at the shop, these lyrics came to mind. This song is both challenging and encouraging possibly my all-time favorite. (If I had to take one CD with me to a desert island, Caedmon's Call's "40 Acres", where this song is from, would be high in the running.)

Happy Friday!

As I survey the ground for ants
Looking for a place to sit and read
I'm reminded of the streets of my hometown
How they're much like this concrete that's warm beneath my feet

And how I'm all wrapped up in my mother's face
With a touch of my father just up around the eyes
And the sound of my brother's laugh
But more wrapped up in what binds our ever distant lives

But if I must go
Things I trust will be better off without me
But I don't want to know
Life is better off a mystery

So keep'em coming these lines on the road
And keep me responsible be it a light or heavy load
And keep me guessing with these blessings in disguise
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes

Hometown weather is on TV
I imagine the lives of the people living there
And I'm curious if they imagine me
Cause they just wanna leave; I wish that I could stay

And to visit places from my past
But only for an hour or so
Which is long enough to smell the air
To tell the tale and find the door

But I get turned around
I mistake some happiness for blessing
But I'm blessed as the poor
Still I judge success by how I'm dressing

So I'll sing a song of my hometown
I'll breathe the air and walk the streets
Maybe find a place to sit and read
And the ants are welcome company

And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes.
And I'll walk with grace my feet and faith my eyes.

Caedmon's Call, Faith My Eyes

friday favorite things | finding joy

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Home improvement: Part 2

In addition to the newly painted bookshelf, we also spruced up the dining room - with art. 

I like art. I don't have any painting/drawing skills, but I love the idea of having authentic art in our home. Unfortunately, that's expensive.

(I gave my husband the slient treatment for the better part of the four-hour drive from Asheville to Charleston because he denied me the purchase of a $400 piece of artwork. It was our first anniversary trip, and I was convinced that this sum of money was completely entirely worth it. Yeah, I had to apologize later.)

So, I'm always on the hunt for prints, photos, etc. that have meaning or reflect some part of our family. On Memorial Day, I stumbled upon this Etsy shop, called Mapity, featuring photos of locations on a map, with a vintage feel. And I was in love. After a bit of husband sweet talking, I picked out four prints:

Pearl Harbor (HI): He was here before we met.
Atlanta: I was here before we met.
San Francisco: We got in engaged here.
Charleston. We live here now.

Here's a close up of the San Francisco print:
We hung them on Saturday afternoon (along with a mirror that had been leaning against the wall on top of a cheapo Target entry table for the better part of a year). I think it makes the dining room complete.



(12 x 12 frames and mats from here.)