Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas is just days away, and I am ready!

The presents are wrapped...

...and sitting happily under the tree.

The Christmas baking is under way...

...and the decorations are in place!

Christmas time will always hold a special place in my heart, not only because it's celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, but because it will always be a reminder of the day Jesse proposed to me!

2 years ago today, on December 23rd, he asked me to be his wife! :)

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Comfort & Joy

Comfort and joy is exactly what we've been experiencing since we've moved to our new place. It's all coming together perfectly, and already feels like home! I still have some decorating to do, of course. (That big empty wall above the couch is just screaming, "decorate me!!") I just thought I would give you all a little sneak peek at how it's lookin'!

We just put up the Christmas tree last night. I was worried that maybe we wouldn't be able to get a tree this year will all the moving, unpacking, and painting we were doing, but my sweet mother-in-law gave us her old tree as a gift. What a Christmas blessing. :) It's my first ever fake tree, but it's just as pretty and just as special.

Now if only I could find some time to do my Christmas shopping. I haven't started and Christmas is only 11 days away... that sounds about right. I always have and always will be a procrastinator.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Out With the Old, In With the New!

Say goodbye to the outdated crusty kitchen...

And hello to my brand spankin' new kitchen! Isn't she beautiful?!

We're officially all moved into our new place, and we are loving everything about it; the privacy, the space, the newness of everything, the DISHWASHER... It's a dream. I only have pictures of the kitchen thus far because although we are all moved in, we are not all unpacked and organized. Everything is still a little chaotic, and Jesse's deer heads are laying all over the dining and living room floors. I'm sure nobody wants to see that. :)

I painted the island right away to brighten up the kitchen a bit. I used an Olde Century paint color called Buttermilk, the same color I used to paint our entertainment center.

One painting project down, many more to go. I plan on painting the kitchen, the living room, the master bedroom, and the spare bedroom. Ahh!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Change of Scenery

Normally at this time, our house would be dressed to the nines in Christmas greenery, twinkling lights, flickering candles, and glistening ornaments. Instead, the walls are stripped of all decorations and everything is being carefully packed into boxes because...

We're moving!

I'm very excited to be able to say that. We've been searching for a new place for some time now and I think we have finally found the perfect home. Thanks to my aunt Viola and the good Lord above, we found a house for rent just 3 miles north of where we live now. I have a few pictures on my phone but for some reason it's not cooperating, so I suppose pictures will have to wait! But I can tell you that it has lots of great things our duplex didn't have... 3 acres, a pond, a big updated kitchen, central air conditioning, a dishwasher, wood ceilings throughout, and the list goes on and on.

The moving begins tomorrow. Rain, snow, or sun... it's happening. And I can't wait!

Because of my currently Christmas-less home, I've been really ooh-ing and ahh-ing at everything Christmas. I miss it!

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Little Rearranging Goes a Long Way!

Rearranging furniture is probably my favorite decorating fix. It's easy, quick, and doesn't cost me a penny. I tend to get bored with a room if it stays looking the same for a long time, so I find myself rearranging and changing up accessories a lot. (I once even dreamt all night about rearranging my furniture. Strange, yes.) You wouldn't wear the same outfit day after day, so why should your home have to look the same day after day, month after month, year after year?

I spent a little time this morning and went "shopping" in my own house to see what I could find. I decided to switch out my old bedside table (which you can read about here) for this chippy white desk.

Remember when I bought it back in April, intending to use it in our spare bedroom/office? (Go here!) Well, we rarely ever use that room so it sat in there lonesome and neglected and let's face it, it's just too darn cute for that! I'm loving the change- the extra table space on my side of the bed is very nice.

I also bought a rug for that unused room (way back when) and it, as well, went unused. So I brought that into the bedroom too.

Ahh, our feet will be so happy now!

So where did the old nightstand go you ask? Follow me!

It's now happily serving us as a small entryway table! I used to come home everyday, walk in the door, and have nowhere to plop my purse, keys, sunglasses, mail, etc. Problem solved!

So our spare bedroom/office is pretty much empty now, but that's just fine. My husband has sort of claimed it as his man cave, so he can do with it what he wants. :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Give Thanks

My most recent chalkboard scribble is a reminder to be thankful. Always a good way to start the day!

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever."
Psalm 136:1

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Christmas Time's A-Coming!

Ok, so it isn't coming for another month and a half, but I just can't help myself. I've caught the Christmas bug. The stores are already decked out for the upcoming holiday and it's getting me very excited to deck my own halls. I do, however, have some self control and will force myself to keep the twinkling lights and greenery boxed away until Thanksgiving is over. Maybe. :)

Wreaths just might be my favorite Christmas decoration. They can be put almost anywhere (doors, windows, walls, backs of chairs, tabletops, etc.) and best of all, you don't have to put them away when Christmas is over. I like to keep mine displayed throughout the winter months.

I love boxwood wreaths, especially these mini ones from Ballard Designs- 4 for only $24!

Also from Ballard Designs, how cool is this pinecone wreath? I wonder if I could make something like this myself. Hmm...

Maybe Ballard Designs' monogram wreath is a little too much, but I like it. :)

We've never done stockings before, mostly because we don't have a fireplace, thus we don't have a mantel, thus nowhere to hang stockings. But if we did, I would want these. $34 from Ballard Designs. (If you haven't figured it out already, Ballard Designs has lots of great Christmas decor!)

This I LOVE. The prettiest wrapping paper I've ever seen. From where other than Ballard Designs. :)

I'm really big on mercury glass ornaments. I have a bunch for our tree this year. You can find them at Wisteria and Pottery Barn, among other places.

And as if I haven't overdosed you on Christmas already, here's some pretty pictures. :)

via Min Lilla Veranda

source unknown

via Country Living
Because we don't have a mantel, I could hang stockings from the footboard. If we had a footboard...

via Martha Stewart

via Country Living

via Country Living

via Country Living
I just love myself a big tree in a galvanized bucket!

Ok, I think I got it out of my system. No more Christmas until after Thanksgiving. :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dear Target, I Love You.

My beloved Target is and always has been one of my favorite stores to shop in. There's no annoying sales women trying to spritz some stinky perfume on my wrist, no Lady Gaga or Justin Beiber music blaring from every corner of the store at a volume that will impair my hearing for the rest of the day, and I can always find really cute things at non-ridiculous prices. And there's even a Starbucks inside my Target. Hallelujah! I've been anxiously waiting for the winter arrival of the peppermint mocha. It comes and goes so quickly. :(

ANYways, here's some of my current Target favorites:

Round Basket with Chalkboard Tile for $39.99; Numbered Canisters for $14.99-$19.99; Linen Lamp Shade for $19.99; Silhouette Mugs, set of 4 for $19.99; Key Serving Tray for $39.99; Numbered Plates, set of 4 for $19.99; Aluminum Dining Chairs, set of 2 for $259.99; Wicker Pumpkin for $9.99; Gold Throw Blanket for $27.99.

As you know, I have the square basket already but I really think I need the round one too...


And a quick fall goodie for you- here's a recipe for Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins. I made a batch last night and brought them in for everyone at work this morning. They didn't last long. :)

4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and oil until smooth. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; gradually add to pumpkin mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups three-fourths full.
Bake at 400° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Yield: about 2 dozen muffins.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Crazy About Chalkboard

I bought this basket at Target the other day:

The little chalkboard tiles just threw me over the edge. It had to come home with me. It sits atop my refrigerator right now for extra kitchen storage. But after looking around, there's so many other places I would love to have it; inside the front door to hold all my everyday shoes, beside the couch to store extra blankets, in the bathroom for extra towels. It's a good thing there was only one on the shelf, or I might have just bought them all! Bad Megan.

I'm a sucker for baskets... and chalkboard. Especially together!

See? The chalkboard and baskets also came from Target. I do love that store.

I want to do this in my house someday. A chalkboard door! This would be super quick and simple with a can of chalkboard paint.

There it is again! This is going in my ideas-for-when-we-finally-buy-a-house folder. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

My 5 Minute Grain Sack Pillow

It seems like everywhere I look lately, I see grain sack pillows- and I love them. But sadly I have yet to find one at a price I can afford.

$195 for the pair from Etta Bloom

$145 from L'aviva Home

Even Pottery Barn has jumped on the band wagon. Pillow covers for $89-$99.

Like I said, just too pricey for me and my tiny budget. So with a few things I already had around the house and a quick 5 minutes, I made myself a DIY (and free) grain sack pillow!

I started out with a pillow I got about a year ago at Marshall's. I used electrical tape to tape off a single stripe down the middle. Painters tape might work better, but I didn't have any on hand.

Then with some brown fabric paint, I painted the stripe.

After letting the paint dry for about a minute, I slowly peeled off the tape. I should have just left it on to do the rest of the stripes, but I wanted to make sure it would actually make a nice straight line.

And it did!

So I taped off a couple more stripes and painted those too.

More peeling! My favorite part. :)

I didn't put the tape on as smoothly as I could have, so it left a few bare spots where the pillow was wrinkling. I just used a q-tip to fill those in.

And there you have it! A quick and simple faux grain sack pillow at no cost to me. :)

Have a nice weekend!