Friday, January 31, 2014

more house love

I forgot to post these pictures
of three homes that were open to the public
for viewing while we were there.
They're spec houses of sorts,
all beautiful -
but very close together.
How close?
Well the lack of lot space 
reminded me of a guy I used to work with
who, when looking for his own house to buy,
declared that it needed to pass the "beer bottle rule."
What he meant was that he wanted to be able
to throw a beer bottle and not have it hit the house next door.
Now that's a southernism I'd never heard before.
Nor since :)
Forget about the lot size for now
and enjoy pictures from the first home
from the open house tour we took last month...






I'll confirm this tomorrow
but I'm pretty sure
 J.D. Banks was the design firm...
stay tuned while I double check that
and for pictures of the other houses.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

notes with quotes

In case you're in need
of some positivity
{aren't we all in need of that?}
I thought I'd share this story
I stumbled across this week.
Its about a father
who packs notes every day
in his daughter's lunch.
He's written over 740 notes
since he is unfortunately fighting
a battle with cancer.
His goal is 826...
the number of school lunches
his daughter
will eat throughout
her school days.
Its a tiny gesture
that means so much.
quote made on
Click to visit his website

mr. big is here

one so big
{41 whopping inches in diameter}
 I joking referred to it
as Mr. Big?
Well - he's here
he's on the wall...
Even my husband said he likes it.
He even asked if we should get two.
I think that means its a keeper.
Slowly but surely
we're converting this room
from hip chocolate floral
to beach-y southern chic
{that's my goal any way}
the Jazz Fest posters are in storage
{well, these two any way}
I've got the pillows piled up to go,
the hip chocolate floral curtains are down,


Things to do:
A little artwork for around the mirror
{I'm going to pick a few from here},
add a little trim
on the new curtains,
and find some new pillows...
we are so close.
If you like the Mr. Big mirror too
but be sure and sign up for their emails.
I get coupons almost daily.
And obviously I'm not afraid to use them. :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

the divine mrs m.

On Monday I had the distinct honor
of guest posting on one of my
all time favorite blogs
classic casual home.

I've never been asked
to do a guest post before.
Or really to write anything
for anybody.
Since I finished school that is.
{a big thanks to my
eleventh grade
English teacher
Mrs. Sutton
who helped me
fall in love with writing}
You see I love to write.
I truly do.
Maybe that's what my dreams are made of?
Who knows.
{I just put it out there in the universe
so let's see what the universe throws back at me.}
When I saw a picture of my kitchen window
on my own blog roll on Monday
I kind of froze.
I clicked through to classic casual home.
I read her words then mine.
I left Mary Ann a comment
at the bottom of that post
admitting that when she asked me
a couple of months ago
to do a guest post
I about fell off my chair.
I'm not exaggerating.
As in I thought
maybe she had emailed
the wrong Nancy.
She didn't ask me to
but I chose to write about
for our kitchen update.
If you have never perused
 Mary Ann's blog
{which I would find
hard to believe
because I'm sure
you've seen her work
in print publications
and all over the web}
then you're missing out
on some eye candy.
Like her kitchen...

via classic casual home
Her kitchen above
and the before pictures
are what cinched my decision
to ask her for help with our project.

Even though I love design,
and am a self-professed,
pinterest-loving fool,
I wanted help to avoid
making domino decisions
where one bad choice
might lead to another.
She helped me think through
and double check each choice.

Like the lights...
my beloved Hicks pendants.

I know they may not be every one's choice.
Honestly they weren't my first choice either.
I thought I wanted lanterns.
But Mary Ann pointed out
that since they would be hanging over our stove
a lantern may not be the most practical choice.
I'd be cleaning them all the time.
That never occurred to me.
I thought about the lantern in my dining room.

The one that never gets used.
That lantern is always looking
like I never clean it.
But I do.
All the time.
Enough said.

I'm so thankful
for her guidance and reassurance
along the way.
One last thing to do.
Here's a hint.

I promise.
I will stop talking about the reno.
One day.
Very soon.
I guess my point of this post is
that its OK to ask for help.
In design
{and in life.}
 None of us has all the answers.
But I promise you that
somebody out there has
"been there, done that."
Someone out there
 has experienced
something similar to
maybe something that
 you are experiencing now.
Whether you're rejuvenating
your home
or your life.
I'm just saying
don't be afraid to ask for help.
I'm so glad I did.
Best part?
I made a new friend.
Her name is Mary Ann.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

lighting deal alert

You know I love a good light.
Especially because once I hit 40
my eyes started failing me.
Ask my girlfriends.
Yesterday at the gym
I was waving frantically
at this girl I hadn't seen in forever...
I was so excited that she decided
to return to boot camp.
Uh yeah.
Wasn't her.
I need glasses.
And better lighting.
If you need some too
then today is your lucky day!
World Market is having
 a one day sale
with up to 40% off
if you're a member of their
then you get a coupon for
either an extra 15% off
or free shipping over $150.
Here's my favorite pick...
I need want this chandy...
{I think my sister Mary needs it too} Large Wood Bead Chandelier
Regularly listed at 269.99
its on sale today for $189
{they also have a smaller version here}
You might remember when I posted about it
comparing it to the "high" -
Chanteuse Chandelier Lighting | Currey and Company
Don't need a chandy in your life?
Then maybe my favorite table lamp instead?
Looks expensive right?
Try $34.
Makes me want to switch out
 the lamps flanking our bed.
I will try to resist the urge
but I cant promise anything.
She wrote in case
her dear husband
is reading this. :)
Another day of cancelled school here
for the winter storm
I do not believe is coming.
Here anyway.
Stay safe and stay warm
wherever you are.
And if you're home bound today like us
then you might just spend some time
shopping WM
 picking out a new light.
Click here to see all their lighting deals.
Let me know what you find.

Monday, January 27, 2014


I don't know where to start on this post.
Its about church.
Or rather a sermon I heard in church recently.
My husband says its the best hour of his week.
More times than not
I leave church in tears
because it felt like the minister
was preaching right to me
during his sermons.
As if God had whispered in his ear
what He needed me to hear.
I haven't left in tears though for a while.
Lately during the sermons
I'll admit my mind has wandered.
Thinking through to do lists and such.
Not good right?
Recently though he started
a new series called
"that's what dreams are made of"
and my ears definitely perked up.

You know that I'm trying to figure out
my new life...
a little background if you're new here.
I worked outside the home full time
before all my baby boys
changed my world
with their heartbeats.
I gave up working outside the home
when the twins were four months old.
We added another ball of energy four years later.
I don't know how we all survived
their "little" years
but we did,
{though not always gracefully}
and now they're all in school full time.
I'm still not working outside the home.
I'm blessed that I have this problem I know,
but I'm trying to figure out who I am again
since I do not,
do not
want to go back into the lab.
No thank you.
No more chemistry for me.

So back to the preacher man...
here's where I sat up straight
and thought He was talking to me
when he {the minister}
 laid this all out in his sermon
by asking...

What are you all about?

What do you love?

What will you do "someday"?

What is your deepest desire?

Um, is it a bad thing
 I don't know the answers
to the above questions?
Anybody else lost with me?

He continued...

What blesses you?

What makes you happy?

Where does your dream meet God's purposes?

I'm sure I'm not the only one
who doesn't think they know
what their purpose in this world is.
Just as I was thinking that he said...
{drumroll please}
your purpose is where
"our deepest gladness
and the
world's greatest need intersect."

Pretty deep huh?
I'm still lost.

For me,
the only possible answer
to the question
of my purpose
is to be
the best parent
I can be.
Nothing else matters.
No career,
no amount of money,


I don't think that precludes having a career.
How could it?
All my working friends out there
are a testament to that.
But they have their careers.
They know what they want,
they're out there doing it all.
I'm confused.
I'm putting this all out there since
maybe you are too.
Maybe you're in a career you don't like
and you want to do something different.

Let's break it down.
What do you want to do?

What brings you joy?

What would you do if you could?

Even if you're confused like me
there is
good news.
Here it is...
You are never too old to dream.
I repeat...

You are NEVER too old to dream!

So this is what I'm going to do.
I'm going to really think about
the answers to the questions
set forth above.
You can too.
Now who's with me?


Saturday, January 25, 2014

baby its cold let's DIY

The weather forecasters were going nuts
Thursday night with predictions
of doom and gloom
for Friday morning.
So I texted my peeps...
{Anybody going to boot camp tomorrow?
The weather is supposed to be really bad?}
I was secretly hoping they'd
want to sleep in
so that I could too -
without feeling guilty.
{"Oh, yeah, we'll be there" came the replies.}
Why can't my friends be wusses tired like me?
So at 4:30 this morning
I dutifully woke up
and checked the weather on my iPhone.
Funny -
I've never seen a symbol
for a snow flurry before today.
Then I check for messages.
No texts from anybody
saying we're not going.
I thought of my peeps
who professed they would be there.
I got dressed and ignored
the warm flannel sheets on my bed
that were calling my name.
I doubled up on layers,
grabbed an extra jacket
and made my way to the car.
Fuh-reezing outside.
I'm listening to the weather and news
waiting for the ice to melt on the windshield.
They canceled school today
due to bad weather.
I'm driving in a drizzle of rain.
Shaking my head at the news reporter.
There's no snow and barely any rain.
Up north they call this weather "spring."
I arrive at boot camp
hoping the building will be shut down.
Its open and I can see people inside.
My peeps?
Not so much.
They were all snuggled in their cozy beds.
They aren't stupid.
Now I have to exercise
entertain and motivate myself.
At least I got it done though.
Exercise was on my long list of stuff to do Friday.
But with three boys at home unexpectedly
there's no telling what the day will bring.
Pray for me :)
I did get one project done though...
My mother-in-law is here for a visit.
I dragged her with me to the lumber yard
the other day to get a piece of homasote.
But I did it BETTER this time.
Here's the deets...
Homasote comes in a sheet 8 x 8 feet.
Its used for noise reduction in buildings
but Martha Stewart made it popular
when she {or rather her minions}
{and I use that word favorably :)}
used it to make a bulletin board.
I looked it up this past summer
when we made one for my peep Tarsy
and I knew I could get some
at a nearby lumber yard.
So my MIL and I roll into said lumber yard.
We may have gotten a few stares.
Me with my minivan
dragging my petite MIL
with her trusty walking cane
in and ask for a piece of homasote.
The lumberyard guys were like...
{Ma', what exactly are you
gonna do with one piece of homasote?}
{Just call me Martha...I'm making a bulletin board.}
They didn't get it.
But they didn't need to...
I have a credit card and I know how to use it.
Afraid to ask any more questions
they just directed me to drive to the back
to pick it up and have it cut.
The guys up front said
they'd do one cut for me.
I batted my eyes
and got the guy with the saw
to do two cuts for me -
you catch more flies with honey
 than you do vinegar...
just saying.
So now I have two 3 x 4 boards
and a long one leftover
{for you Laura...I have a plan :)}
But first things first...
My inspiration...
Here's the deal.
I'm making this one for a friend.
She's moving soon
and wants to spruce up her house.
and asked me to make her one too.
We decided to go for a solid color
like Rene's board above
where she used a gray cotton duck.
Ever the mimic I went to the fabric store
in search of cotton duck fabric too.
Allison's walls are a pale yellow
 so we decided on a pale periwinkle blue.
I started out by stapling
the fabric to my cut board.
Sorry I didn't take a picture of this part
but you can see the full tutorial here
One thing I did a bit different
was in measuring for the
spacing of the nail head trim.
I used painters tape to go along each edge
I bought four boxes of upholstery nails
with 24 in each box,
for a 3 feet x 4 feet board,
do a little math,
think a little thought...
I ended up
deciding on a nail
where the tape intersected
at each corner
 then every two inches from there.
See how I made my marks
on the blue painters tape?

Then I just lined up the nail
on the edge of the blue tape
and pushed it in
{this takes some brawn...
thankfully I went to
boot camp this morning :)}



I waited to push the pins completely in
so that I could easily remove the tape.

Note also that I figured out
that I could use some little scissors
to help me pull the nail up
if it started to go in at an angle.
{I OCD flared up}

Is it just me or do my hands
look fat in that picture?
What up with that?
Good night nurse.
Here's what I used...
I bought the d-ring hangers to attach to the back
and then the 50 pound nail hooks for the wall.
I decided to wait until I get it to Allison's
before attaching those bad boys
so that we can have the option
of hanging it either vertically or horizontally.
You know me.
I like options.
Here's how it turned out...
Oh and I added one
extra pin at each corner
for little extra oomph.
I like it.
How about you?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

dear pottery barn

You have got to stop.
I was doing so well.
Then you mailed out your latest catalog.
You know the one.
With all the indigo going on.
Color story: Indigo
via pottery barn
You must have read my mind.
{or my blog}
Because you KNEW
that I was trying to revamp
my living area
after we finished our kitchen reno.
Shame on you.
My husband asked me to stop
with my serial redecorating.
And you're not helping.
Because I want everything a lot of things.
All in indigo.
Pretty please.
I may have even wandered
in my local PB store last week.
{in case my husband is reading this.}
One of your employees recognized me.
{"Where have you been?" she quizzed me}
{"In décor rehab" I whispered back}
Like on "cheers" where
everybody knows your name
I may {or may not} be recognized in all certain
DIY and home décor stores.
I think its a great thing.
My husband, not so much.
 In any event
here's what I'm longing for
from you my PB friend...
Thomas Ticking Stripe Pillow Cover | Pottery Barn
Anza Ikat Pillow Cover | Pottery Barn
Bedroom Design Inspiration & Bedroom Décor Inspiration | Pottery Barn.  Indigo
Indigo Knit Throw | Pottery Barn
Indigo - Pottery Barn
Polka Dot Napkins, Set of 4 | Pottery Barn 
 Pottery Barn Winter 2014 Catalog Highlights Blue & Indigo
all images via pottery barn on pinterest
So thanks a lot Pottery Barn
for the great indigo items.
Some of them are on the way to me.
My house thanks you.
{My husband...not so much :)}

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