Thursday, February 28, 2013

Week 4 - Photo-a-day February 2013

I had so much fun with this challenge! It's a lot harder than it looks.  Towards the end, I had to start pulling from our previous stash of pictures.  I can't imagine doing this for a whole year!

Here's a recap of the last few weeks:

And for this week...
Day 22: makes you smile
This is one of our wedding pics I have framed on our dresser.  It makes me smile every time I look at it.

Day 23: a word
Ok, maybe a few words and some numbers.  But I love this lampshade!!

Day 24: a cloud
...and a chimpanzee. I took this at Universal Studios back in August. (There was not a cloud in the sky on Sunday!!) Yes, they have chimps strolling around in the air on tightropes.  Extremely entertaining.

Day 25: on your bedside table
The sound machine I cannot sleep without.

Day 26: quiet
One of my favorite Monet's.

Day 27: playing
Silly Penny playing with her bone

Day 28: upside down
Things that are upside down remind me of Alice in Wonderland.

Phew....That's a wrap!!

February's Favorite Things

February was such a great month for me!  Here were some of the highlights.....

1. We're going to Europe!
After months of talking, saving, and's finally official! The tickets have been bought and Wesley and I are going to Europe for two weeks in August!!!!!!!!!!! We're spending a week in London with my family and then Wes and I will be off to enjoy Belgium and France on our own!

2. Putting hardwoods in the living room. 
I love having a carpet free first floor.  Even though we've only been in our house for 2 years, we had already worn out the carpet downstairs.  The rain and Penny's muddy paws didn't help much either.  

3. This picture of my niece
Maddi turned 1 this Sunday.  Her face is pure birthday joy.  It was all covered in cake not long after this....
Nom nom!

4. Arrow Necklace
I love how simple this necklace is. It has a shorter chain too, so it don't sit awkwardly hovering over your neckline. Wesley was so sweet and surprised me with it for my birthday.  Definite brownie points.

5. My Birthday!
After a half crazy/half crappy year, I had a great day to kick off year 25!  My parent's took me to Ilios Noche which has the best greek food in Charlotte... my coworkers surprised me with some of my favorite snacks... my sister Kelsey made me these delicious carrot cake cookies... Ashley surprised me with a drop in at work, Katie showered the house with the sweetest birthday post-it notes... I had an amazing dinner with some family and friends at Firebirds... and Wesley seemed to pull out all of the present stops this year.  Oh, and did I mention the chocolate cake?  Probably one of the best birthday's I've ever had!

6. This video
Confession....I love Taylor Swift, especially her newest single. A few days ago, the PA in our office walked into the nurses station and asked if anyone liked Taylor Swift.  I reluctantly admitted yes and she said "go to you tube and search 'Taylor Swift goat.'....and, you're welcome" and then walked off.
Hilarious!....and, you're welcome!

I hope you all had an amazing month!!
Linking up with Ashley

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Quiet Celebrations


I'm 25 today!! When in the world did that happen?!?

I'm not much for fuss or monumental celebrations, so I love today's photo-of-the-day is "quiet." I love all of these Monet paintings...I couldn't pick just one.  You can decide which one the "quiet" on is.

We kicked off my quiet celebrations this weekend with my family in Charlotte.  Tonight, we'll go out tonight for dinner to ring in my new year and the next quarter of a century ahead of me! I remember back in grade school, being asked where I would be when I was 25.  I am happy to say that 95% of it has come true.  That is a pretty great achievement...and I am really proud of it.  I've faced challenges this year I never thought that I would, including taking a ridiculous night shift job for six months!  If the two years Wesley and I spent in a long distance relationship before getting engaged didn't teach us how to treasure the time we have together, then that surely did!  I have learned so much about myself...more in the past year than any other year.  And, I think I'm getting a handle on how to have balance in my life.  After this past year, I know how to find happiness in everyday.  I have so much that I am thankful for and I am looking so forward to what year 25 will bring!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Letters

Dear Penny, this picture we took of you last week when your left eye was swollen is still cracking me up.  Who knew doggie-allergies could actually make your eye swell shut?!? I'm sorry we called you Winkie all weekend.  It was too good to pass up. So glad you feel better...those were some magic eye drops, weren't they?  Dear Wesley, I really love how you can read my mind sometimes.  Like how you knew Penny needed a bath last night and you scooped her up and scrubbed her down without me even having to mention that I wanted it done.  You're the best.  Dear Target, why are all of your area rugs so small?? Falling in love with that blue moroccan one at the store and then unrolling it at home to find that it was way too small was so disappointing.  I'll forgive you if you could just go ahead and open the Holly Springs store already!! I can't wait to have you only 10 minutes away.  I keep cringing more and more every time I have to go to Wal-mart for something.  Dear perfect rug, I know you are out there and I will find you. Hopefully this weekend.  Dear JoAnn's, I seem to like you less and less.  I found the perfect fabric to re-do the living room curtains and you don't keep 14 yards in stock in store and you refuse to allow me to buy more than 3 yards online.  Could you want my business any less?? Dear Weekend, so glad you are finally here!!! 

Linking up here

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Week 3 - Photo-a-day February 2013

 I will confess I had to take a few liberties for this week and use a couple of photos I had taken in the past.
Here's a look at week 3... 

Day 15: Inside your fridge
Attempting to be somewhat artsy here.  I tried to frame the whole fridge, and it just looked tacky.

Day 16: Perfect
I have not loved winter this year.  Ususally, I do. It snowed last weekend, the kind with the huge fluffy flakes.  By some miracle, it stuck for a while before melting.  Wesley and I were out and about and with the grass and trees covered in snow, it just looked perfect.

Day 17: In your hand...
My favorite thing to hold in my hand...Wesley's hand

Day 18: Something you don't like
Finding the perfect piece of art for a the wrong color.  If only they had it in green!!

Day 19: I am... incredibly blessed! I have a superb husband, great family and friends, the cutest dog in the world.... and so many more blessings than I could possibly count!! We even have the opportunity to do ones of our favorite things We are headed to Europe this August.  So excited!!   

Day 20: Where you stood
My first shadow pic.

Day 21: Full
Getting hungry just looking as this delicious full plate of food.

One more week to go!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Notes on Installing Hardwood Floors

We installed hardwoods last weekend in our living room.  I documented every step, with the intention of writing a DIY post on installing hardwoods.  However, I quickly realized that even though I worked incredibly hard along side Wesley in putting them in, it in no way gave me any authority on posting a "how-to."

With that being said, I did want to share some notes on being successful in installing your own hardwoods...

1. Get someone with experience to show you how.  I would never have been confident enough to tackle this by simply reading how to do it off of the internet, no matter how many times I may have seen it on HGTV.  We were so lucky that Wesley's dad, who had done this several times, was able to come up and show us the ropes.  This is definitely one thing that you need hands on teaching for!

2. Clean up as you go.  As we were installing the pieces, usually you had to hit it with the mallet a few times to get it in the right place, so there were scuff marks everywhere.  Having one of us wipe them off  once we were out of that area was a huge help.  I can't imagine having to do it all at the end...

3. Get a magic eraser.  For scuff marks, we quickly found that a rag with water or cleaning solution was just not cutting it.  We pulled the magic eraser out hoping it would work, and with one wipe, it was gone.

4. Many hands make light work.  We had 5 sets of hands working on 1 room, and it still took us a day and a half for this project.  By having a few people, we were able to rotate tasks, which kept us from burning out quickly.  That power nailer will take a lot out of you, especially your lower back, so be sure that a few of your crew can switch out using it.

5. Go slow and be patient.  It can be easy to get frustrated when the work moves slow, but by starting off patiently, you will learn how to install them correctly.  Make sure to cut the pieces with 1/4" from the walls to allow for expanding/contracting.  That may mean a few runs to the saw for each piece at first in order to get the hang of it.  After a few hours, we had a solid rhythm down and were able to pick up the pace.  I'm so glad we did that because it turned out like a professional job.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Find and Keep

You would think that if you found something you were so passionate about, you would never lose interest in it. I mean, if you love it, why would you, right?!?  It's funny how life can sometimes get in the way...or maybe how life seems to always get in the way.  That is why I love this quote. No one could have put it better than Julia.

Finding seems to have always come easily to me.  It's the keeping part that I am working on. Here's are 3 simple ways we can be sure that we are keeping tremendously interested in the things we love to do:

1. Make time for it.  Make an appointment for it, even if it can only be for an hour once a week.  I've had to do this with painting.  Sometimes I do 15 minutes over 4 days, or one hour one day... whichever it ends up being, if I don't make time for it, it just doesn't happen.

2. Stay inspired. The more inspired I am, the more passionate I get. Love that cycle.  If I don't have time to  paint, craft, cook, blog... I at least write down what has inspired me so that I can pull it out and go to work when I get the chance.

3. Share it.  Don't be afraid of what other people think...share it anyway! You may end up inspiring someone else.  Besides, what you are passionate about should have absolutely no bearing on what other people think, right?!?

 Happy Monday!
Linking up here 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Week 2 - Photo-a-day February 2013

First, I had to share this picture.  It has no association with the Photo-a-day challenge, but I loved it.

Here's a recap of week two...
 Day 8: Something orange
This is one of my secrets to my homemade BBQ sauce. 
And one of the few things in the house that are actually orange.  Terrible color.

 Day 9: Guilty Pleasure
Yes, this is a power nailer.  We rented it for putting in the hardwoods.  It is now one of my new guilty pleasures.  I took one swing and I could not put it down.  If you have some pent up anger, you should reach for one of these babies, because you have to swing that mallet hard!!

 Day 10: 3 o'clock
At 3pm on Sunday, we came home from church to finished floors! After working for 15 hours straight the day before, we had gotten everything done except the last 18 inches.  My in-laws finished them up for us as a surprise.  What a great one!! 

 Day 11: Entrance
I love our front door. And my monogrammed wreath. 

 Day 12: Where you ate lunch
At my desk, per the usual workday.  Unless I am having dinner at home, I can't "just eat."  I have to be working on something at the same time.  Bad habit I picked up in school due to exorbitant amounts of homework.

Day 13: Walking
I love this photo of Penny walking. Just goes to show that every "fuzzy" picture does not need to be deleted.

Day 14: Love is...
Wesley and me before going out on V-day.  
He pretty much nailed it this year by taking me out to eat where we went on our very first date.

Happy photo-snapping!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

My Man & Me

Have I ever told you that my husband is the greatest?  Well, he is...
We have known each other for over 10 years.  Wow, how time flies!
I love his big heart, his smile, his laugh, and the fact that he is always there for me.
He is my rock, my biggest supporter, and my best friend.
He's even pretty darn cute too...

In honor of V-day tomorrow, here's a throwback look at some of our engagement pictures:

I love these pictures. 

"So this is love, 
So this is what makes life divine
I'm all aglow,
And now I know
The key to all heaven is mine
So this is the miracle that I've been dreaming of
So this is love...."

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Big Reveal

Over the weekend we ripped up the carpet in the living room and put down hardwoods! 
We have been talking about doing this for a long time and decided it was finally the perfect time.

Here's how it turned out....

Disclaimer: One of the disadvantages to working full time is that by the time you get home, 
the sun is down .....ergo no natural light in my pictures. 
Just another reason to add to the long list of why spring needs to hurry up and get here! 

And yes, I have already started pulling out some Easter stuff.  
That is indeed a tiny bunny you see on the mantle, and not your imagination.

We are so happy with it.  A huge thanks to my in-laws who came up and showed us the ropes.
Now I get the fun task of picking out a rug...
and maybe new curtains, or pillow, or knick knacks...
or all of the above.
I love that decorating is never officially over.
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