September 21, 2016

Eight Years

Hi friends! If you follow along on Instagram or Facebook then you know hubby and I spent a recent weekend out at the beach celebrating the fact that we have made it through 8 years without the need for police or lawyer intervention. Happy Anniversary to us!!

We visited Panama City Beach and rented at a condo in the Emerald Beach Resort. It was very nice. Next year we are looking at a couple different resorts along the strip. Trying new places is something we both enjoy. We are always looking for fun new adventures on vacation.

The view from our condo was beautiful! I loved staring out at the water in the morning while I relaxed on the sofa with my coffee. Who would've thought that I'd end up being the early riser in our marriage?

We took our Chromecast with us and I would watch Parks & Rec (again) on Netflix while I waited on hubby to join me. It was a much needed break from any responsibilities.

We got down there on Saturday and settled in. Believe it or not we actually went to the gym and got in a quick workout to start our vacation off on the right foot. I don't even have any shame that I spent part of my workout sneaking photos of this handsome fella working out his back. #howdidthisgetonmyphone

It's worth mentioning that our hotel had a nice little bar in the sky-walk connecting the resort and parking garage. This bar was decorated with all manner of Auburn decor (which I LOVED) but there was NO ONE there to watch the game. Ok. Maybe there were about 4 people. But it was decorated like a serious party. I was all exciting thinking there was some sort of an Auburn club meeting there to watch the game, but no. We never found out why they were so festive in their decor.

This was our first visit to PCB and we needed to get to know the area. We figured it was best to take a scenic drive before sunset. While driving around we saw a billboard for a country saloon called Tootsies. We both love country music so we clearly had to give that a try. It turned out to be in a very nice area and was SO MUCH FUN. I danced for hours and we even made new friends. Then, the band played one slow song and I was done. I started falling asleep on the table so it was time to call it a night.

Sunday was a day of recovery and re-hydration from the excessive dancing. We spent the afternoon playing out at the beach and hubby even got to show off his skim boarding skills. I was so nervous because I just knew he was going to end up in the ER. But my nerves were for naught because he was really good. I was of course super impressed.

I was also shockingly good at skim boarding... Just look:

I'm kidding. And if you believed me for even a second then you clearly don't know me at all. That's our new friend Kaylee. She was basically the toughest girl ever. I just took pictures and clapped a lot.

One of our other favorite things about Sunday happened when we were hanging out in the water. I don't have any photos but I never want to forget this because we are still laughing about it. We were entertained for well over 30 minutes by a gentleman who could not get on his float but was bound and determined to do so. His female companion just watched from her float as he continued to try and climb up, and he would get almost on, then promptly fall off. He did eventually get on it and we lost interest. Then when we looked back he was off again. #youhadtobethere

Sunday ended with music videos and a failed attempt at watching The Goonies. Someone fell asleep. Maybe the same someone who fell asleep in a dancing establishment the night prior.

Monday was fantastic. We went shopping for a while which was so fun. I got 3 new necklaces and a scarf because eventually it will cool off. I have faith. After shopping, we stopped by Diego's Burrito Bar and had the best food. It is a Chipotle-style place where you get to customize your meal. I ate my entire [ridiculously sized] plate of nachos and groaned the whole way back to the hotel whilst talking nonsense about never eating nachos again.

I'm pretty sure I was in some sort of nacho-induced coma because what we did the rest of Monday is fuzzy at best. Best I can remember, we went to the beach where I was happy to rest and do absolutely nothing. Hubby got bored at some point and went back inside while I relaxed on the beach a while.

Monday night we went to a nearby golf course and played night golf! I didn't even know this was a real thing! And in all honesty, I was expecting glow in the dark balls and something along the lines of cosmic bowling with black-lights. In reality, it was a normal par 3 course with lights. My idea is genius and if you create it please let me know so we can come play.

I'm terrible at golf and play so rarely that I have no interest in improving. I can (usually) hit the ball and then I am allowed to pick it up and drop it by hubby's ball, or wherever I feel like it. These are what we refer to as booby rules. On this particular day, I actually played by standard(ish) rules for the majority of our time on the course. I even hit a few good shots. As I walked barefoot through the course I just kept saying "this is so much fun!" I never would've thought I'd have so much fun golfing. We are already planning to do it again next year. Only I'll bring my clubs so I don't have to rent.

The next thing we knew it was Tuesday morning and time to head home. I will leave you with these travel words of advice: Stay somewhere with a bellhop. It's spectacular and now I'm spoiled.

August 30, 2016

Budget Friendly Tips to Create a Cozy Home

I've been an official, out-of-college, adult for over 8 years. I'd like to share something new I've discovered. Hold onto your hats, this is a good one.

It's worth it to decorate and accessorize your home. It's worth the money. It's worth the time. It's worth screwing up and doing something you end up hating to learn from your mistakes and find what really works.

I always wanted our home to be beautiful and inviting and warm and cozy and all the things people want for their homes. For some reason I never could bring myself to spend the money and time and energy to make it happen.

When we were first married, funds were very limited so extras like a pretty accessory were not happening. Even if it was only a couple dollars, I would say "no" to it because it wasn't necessary to our daily life. Y'all, we didn't even buy paper towels during this time so how could I justify a pretty new frame or decorative anything?

Eventually, our income grew, as tends to happen over the years, but my frugal-to-a-fault mindset didn't budge. I still struggle with this today. But something did happen after the flood. I started blogging and reading blogs and I naturally gravitated toward blogs about budget home decor. I started sharing things I liked and ideas I had with hubby and he told me how he wanted our house to be well decorated and cozy. It was such an exciting conversation! This is exactly what I needed to hear. I also wanted free reign over our home's interior - this is still a work in progress. He really has great ideas and vision for our home too so I *usually* like to have his input. Honestly, sometimes it would be much easier if he were one of those husbands you hear about who lets his wife make all the decorating decisions without providing any input. But easy isn't always best and I like knowing that he both notices and appreciates my efforts in making our house a home.

I'm starting slowly with this new mindset and as much as I want to see our whole home done, where is the fun in that?! I'm going to embrace this journey from house to home. I'm starting to see the homey-ness already.

After dropping AG off for her first day of Kindergarten *sob*, I went to brunch and HobLob with some of my best gal pals who also happen AG's besties' moms. Coincidence? I think not, The Lord works in mysterious ways and I'm so thankful he brought us together! We shall call them "The Moms". Anyway, The Moms and I had so much fun shopping together. I got some cute things for our home and maybe a couple scarves and a gift or 2 for AG to celebrate her first day of big kid school.

Shout-out to whoever gave her this gift bag at her birthday party last Saturday! I've already reused it 3 times.

One of my new items was this woven tray. I knew right away it was exactly what I wanted for our remotes. On a previous trip to HobLob, I picked up the metal orb (which I adore! This one is similar) and the white vase with green plant. I wouldn't have even thought to put them on the table except that our bookshelf had been cleared off when they relocated it to remove our baseboards and these, along with other bookshelf contents, were lounging in their new residence on our bar.

I read somewhere (probably Pinterest) that to decorate most any surface you need 3 elements: a lamp - check, a green plant - check, and a stack of 2-3 books with an object on top of them - double check! This is so true and I didn't actually remember having read it until just now, sitting here, looking at the table in all it's cuteness. I think an important element to a cozy home that is often overlooked is adding textures. There's something about having interesting patterns and textures in a neutral color palette that is so inviting.

I'm still wanting to paint this table but can't decide on the color. Perhaps I should take my own advice and stop being scared to fail and just do it because really, if I don't like it I can repaint it.

The other item I scored was this tray that is perfect for our coffee area!

I have wanted a tray to corral our coffee, sugar, and filters for a while now but, as per usual, I was too scared to spend any money on something so frivolous and totally unnecessary. And this fear is totally in my own crazy head. I want to make sure you know, this is absolutely my own deal and hubby was happy I got things for our home. If anything, he's helping me get over this silliness by praising my decorating style and encouraging me to decorate our home. :)

You won't believe this part and I shouldn't tell you but I'm going to anyway... I found this cute little tray tucked under some things in the clearance section. It was part of their Spring collection and when I took it to the register, it rang up less than $2! You can imagine my delight! Moral of that story: pay attention to the tags and how they relate to the current seasonal merchandise at Hobby Lobby because they don't always mark every single item down. They are human and miss things here and there and you might score a great deal if you pay close attention to details.

As you can see, I still struggle with loosening up the purse strings when it comes to "extras" for our home but I am slowly getting better. I don't think I'll ever be one of those people who can walk into Pottery Barn and pay full price for something just because I like it. Though I certainly like to pretend I am when I visit their website. Theirs and Restoration Hardware - swoon! The fact of the matter is, I have a deep seeded need to save money and live frugally. I also love a good challenge and, for me, part of the fun of decorating our home on a budget is the thrill of finding something great for a fantastic deal. This seems to be trendy these days and for that I am grateful.

One last thing friends, I'm serious about painting that table. By all means, please leave me some ideas of what color would look best in the comments! Bear in mind that the living room rug will be changing soon. I'm trying to convince hubby that a natural jute rug would be best in here but he isn't feeling it. So far, we've been able to agree on a medium gray with a slight pattern. I'm feeling like that might be too much gray with his gray chair (coming next weekend!) Time will tell.

August 22, 2016

Water Water Everywhere

Hi friends! As I sit here writing this post from my new love seat I can't help but feel thankful, and tired. I wanted to share with you all the exciting things that have been going on in our home over this last week. Let's start with the beginning.

Monday, 8/15 - Flood, round 2. This time it was not so bad. If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you know what I'm talking about. It did not make for pretty pictures.

I came home after being away for about an hour Monday night to water in the garage from the wall that is shared with our kitchen. Knowing I left nothing on, I told AG she would need to wait in the car while I went in to figure out what was happening. I expected to find a leak under the sink but instead stepped over the threshold into over an inch of water. I could hear water coming out of the fridge so I sloshed over to it and opened the french doors to find out what was leaking. At first, water poured out of the doors, the next thing I knew, water was spraying at me from the filter. I initially tried to pull the fridge out of it's place to turn off the water valve located behind it. This was a no-go as the freezer and fridge drawer were both filled with water so it was super heavy. I immediately called hubby freaking out. He was also on his was home and bless him, he had just paid at WhatABurger and drove off before they could get him his food. (Don't worry, once we were settled, he went back and got us both food).

While we were on the phone he talked me through how to turn off the water to the house. Which is a handy skill that I needed to have anyway. Though I would've much preferred to learn it in boots and jeans and not pajama shorts and flip flops.

Thanks to our prior flood experience, we were well prepared to handle this and not forced to wait around on the emergency flood mitigation team to arrive. We used our big push brooms and shop vac and ALL the towels in the house. By the time DKI (our water clean up company) arrived, we had dried all of the obvious water and, thanks to my wonderful brother-in-law, our fridge had been dried out as well.

DKI came in about 10pm and pulled the baseboards and cabinet toe kicks. They had to drill holes in the cabinet base behind the pretty toe kicks and now it looks like my cabinets are sitting on a mouse village. They left us with a huge dehumidifier and 7 air mover fans. We basically lived in a wind tunnel for a week. Tonight is the first night we've had of quiet in a week and it is spectacular.

Tuesday of last week, 6 days ago, DKI returned and removed all of the flooring that had water under it. You could actually hear the water moving in a couple places when you walked on the floor. They ended up having to take apart and move the wood stove, all our new furniture was moved to a side of the living room space, and as I believe I've mentioned, there are holes in my cabinet toe kicks. I'm very thankful that the damage doesn't involve drywall this time. We've definitely had worse and at least we can live here during this. I'm trying to focus on that and not the fact that we will have to relocate all of our living and dining room furniture and replace all of our floors that aren't even 2 years old.

Right now we are in a holding period. DKI is done, the house is dry, and their equipment is out. The insurance adjuster has come and gone. He needs the report from DKI and then he will complete his report quickly and submit it to our insurance company who should then issue us our checks pretty quickly. Once we receive our dwelling check, our mortgage lender will be involved in releasing the funds to us as needed for repairs. The contents check is easier and comes made out to only us so we will be able to replace the items that were lost due to the water damage.

Hard to believe a simple little filter could cause so much damage.

August 15, 2016

New Furniture, Painted Frames, and Power Washing - Oh My!

Happy Monday friends! This was an exciting weekend in the CBC household. 

I left work early on Friday to meet the furniture delivery guys at our house because we FINALLY got a new sofa and love seat! Can I get a hallelujah?! 

We actually don't love this rug in here. It is going to find a new home in our bedroom and we'll be investing in a new one that works better with the space. We are looking at getting something closer to a 9x13. This one is 7.5x10.5.

The table you see used to be our coffee table. We've decided that for the stage of life we are in, we prefer to have the space in front of the seating open for playing, lounging, and impromptu dance parties. I'm considering painting the table and keeping it for the space shown. I'll definitely be adding a large basket on the shelf underneath. I'd love your suggestions for paint color for the table. Do you think white would look good? Let me know in the comments!

This is my favorite photo. I am in love with these trellis throw pillows. They are feather filled and the perfect balance of softness and support. The furniture and all pillows shown are from Ashley Furniture. We had a great experience with them and will be going back to buy an accent chair just as soon as we sell the Lazy Man Chair. Hubby likes the look of the pillows shown on the sofa and love seat as-is. I'm not super impressed. I have fabric to go with the agreed upon color scheme of navy, teal, gray, beige, and a pop of coral and I intend to use it to make new pillow covers. You know, in all my spare time. Bahahaha! But regardless, it's in the craft closet with my sewing machine and good intentions.

Because we've had a sectional since we moved back home post-flood, we haven't had a lamp in the living room. I posted this to Instagram and Facebook but I have to share here too. The amount of joy this lamp (which we plan to replace) brings us both is ridiculous. Pay no attention to that crap under the table, it'll live in a pretty basket soon enough.

There isn't much that I love more than relaxing on the love seat at the end of the day with a good book. I've been reading the Ashley Furniture catalog, seriously, and my current favorite - The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith, aka The Nester. You can check out her blog at - it's one of my favorites. I feel like she is talking directly to me in her book and I'm only on the first chapter. I can tell it'll be one that I read over and over. 

After they finished unloading them I hopped in my car and raced back to the front of the neighborhood to catch the tail end of half price day at an estate sale. I spent an hour browsing the house and loved getting to chat with the family and learn new things about our neighborhood. I scored some great items including frames in various sizes, a cloche (I've always wanted one!!), a wine holder that'll be used for towels in AG's mermaid bathroom - currently in the planning phase, a pillow that I only wanted for the feather insert, a fluffy pink pillow/chair thing for AG, and a pretty bracelet. When I got back home I still had an hour or so before I needed to pick up AG so I decided to get right to work on the new frames for the gallery wall that's going in our living room. You know what takes longer than actually sanding and staining or painting frames? Finding where hubby hides stores the sand paper. I did eventually find some but all we had was 120 grit and I needed something closer to 80 to get the smaller frames to a point where I can stain them like I have in my head. 

I did manage to get the largest frame and the cloche painted and I love how they turned out. 

I used Valspar paint tinted to Sherwin Williams Alabaster color. This is the paint we used for our ceiling and we will be using for our trim and interior doors. I can't even tell you how much I long for the day when I can say we "used" that paint for our trim and interior doors. But that's a story for another blog post. Likely one about how much I hate caulking and how awesome I am at procrastinating or perhaps even about how much it costs to hire someone to caulk and paint 2,200 square feet of trim and multiple interior doors, some being pocket doors. 

I do love painting and my Purdy brushes are the best there is so I grabbed one of them and the sample size paint I'd picked up from Lowes about 2 years ago, shook the paint like a wild woman and did a little happy dance when I opened it to reveal perfect, like new paint inside. 

The only down side to a 2 year old sample of paint is that there was a thick layer around the top where the lid needs to sit in order to close properly. Peeling that off was not an entirely clean process and in hindsight I should've worn gloves. Oh hindsight, you are funny. 

I cleaned my brush and hung it up to dry - always hang them! Then it was off to pick up AG from school to start our weekend. 
This was a special weekend because Saturday we got to have her local cousins over for a slumber party. AG was giddy with all the excitement of having a her first sleep over. She loves her big cousins so much and they are so great with her. 
The kids performed their own rendition of the Wizard of Oz for us and it was nothing short of spectacular. We let them have ice cream and all stay up way too late. We got them all settled in AG's room by 10pm and the cousins were planning to sneak out and come back down to watch Star Wars with us after AG went to sleep. Y'all. Watching on the monitor as 2 kids try to sneak out on a very suspicious toddler/little kid is hilarious. 
Hubby and I were rolling. Eventually AG fell asleep and they made it down stairs, it was almost 11pm by this point. We made it about 45 minutes into the movie before they were both stuffed with popcorn and passed out. In all honesty, I was dozing on and off too and just kept thinking of how the movie seems so loud until there's dialog and then you can barely hear what they are saying and I just wanted to go to bed but my room is on the other side of the TV so I figured it was a lost cause. I've never been so happy to see the kids fall asleep. 

Sunday we had a fun morning of muffins and playing outside because it was finally sunny again. We didn't want the cousins to go home and can't wait for the next sleep over. 

Next Saturday is AG's 4th birthday party and we are having a pool party at my in-laws house because that's what she wanted and they are awesome and said yes. Hubby crossed one party prep item off the list this weekend by power washing their outdoor space around the pool. It made a huge difference. I hadn't even noticed that it needed it until he sent me the before and after photos. Never underestimate the power of a pressure washer.

It's so shiny and as new looking as a 35+ year old pool deck can be. What this really looks like is my happy place where I love to kick back and watch the kids swim. Perfect for a mermaid unicorn party! 

I'm off of work all next week to celebrate AG's 4th birthday, her first ballet/tap class, and her first day of K4. No promises if I'll find time to blog in the midst of all the crazy happening but I will be taking plenty of photos through my sobbing eyes to share everything with you. We've got quite the party planned and it should be loads of fun!