Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Office In Progress~

Today, I thought I would share my new home office.  This is yet another work still in progress!  I've learned from past mistakes and with all of our new redos I am taking it slow and choosing things I truly love and will use for years to come rather than just fill the spaces with a bunch of "stuff". Okay-that was probably just the biggest run on sentence ever! The office looked like this just a few short months ago:

The dark dated computer desk and hutch had been around for awhile (once upstairs in the girls playroom, then back downstairs to the office/study) as had the chair (although it had been recovered at least once).  We sold both on Craigslist, and used that money to purchase our new desk and chair!  The loveseat found a new home in our Media Room upstairs where it will get a lot more use.  The coffee table is now in our Family Room (old table went to our daughter's apartment).

The office has taken longer to pull together due to the fact that I had to wait 3 months for my desk and chair to arrive!  I chose the Jett Desk from Z Gallerie along with the white and chrome chair.  We purchased the Expedite Bookcase from Ikea (love, love, love) and the filing drawers as well.  The side chair in our office was originally in our living room and looked like this:

Chair on right.
I also splurged on the Palmer Stool in white from Z Gallerie to use as a side table for the chair.  I had looked for weeks trying to find the right table, the right height, and it was the only thing that fit the bill.  I do love it in the space.

Here is the office now, still a work in progress (especially the stuff on the kinda landed where it did).
Looking into the room-we have double glass french doors leading in, to the right is the doorway for our downstairs bath, and to the left double doors for a closet (this room can be used as another bedroom).  With just one large wall to work with it became quite the challenge.

A closer look at the Expedite.  Still working on the placement of things!

Filing drawers from Ikea-holds so much stuff.  I store our printer paper, extra cartridges, and other various office supplies in here.  The print above we purchased on our trip to Savannah and reminds us of our Cairn Terrier Kylee.

Chair recovered in a fabric purchased at JoAnns along with the Palmer Stool.  The green vase belonged to my Granny (her favorite colors were blue and green, so the room reminds me of her).  And yes, Kylee wanted in on the action!

So, there you have new home office.  I am loving having a place to work on the computer, read a book and escape to.  I am still looking for a few accessories, but I don't like to have a lot of things in a room without a purpose (even if it is just to make me smile).

Hope everyone is having a great week!  The countdown has begun starts in less than two weeks!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Master Bedroom~

Today, I am revealing what we've done so far in our Master Bedroom.  There are still quite a few things I would like to add and tweak, but am being patient in waiting to find the right pieces.  Pieces we will be happy with for the long haul.

The room's decor is simple and "quiet" for many reasons.  First, it is quite calming at the end of a long stressful day.  Second, and the BIGGEST reason, is that about two years ago I discovered I have a severe dust mite allergy!  So, in order to keep the recurring sinus infections caused by the allergy at bay, we made some changes.  We ripped out all the carpet and installed prefinshed hardwood flooring.  We actually installed the flooring throughout the entire upstairs of our home ourselves.  We also swapped our old mattress for a custom latex one (dust mites hate latex).  We then kept the bedding and decor simple.  Things that could be washed often.  The decorative items have been kept to a minimum as well.  I am happy to report I have not been sick nor had a sinus infection since transforming our room!!

View of room looking toward the front of our home.  Difficult to photograph as we get tons of sunlight during the day.
Our furniture is Martha Stewart by Bernhardt.  The Curtains as well as the Hurricane lamps are from Pottery Barn, the drapery rods from West Elm.

This is part of the wall to the immediate right when you come in the room.  The flat screen is directly across from our bed and easy to view.

Close up of the gallery wall next to our large dresser/flat screen.  This is a series of photos we shot of our girls down by the river for their Christmas cards two years ago.  Again, we kept the frames simple.

Corner to the left of our bed, and just to the right of the doorway leading into our Master Bath.  The prints are from Southern Living at Home and framed in Pottery Barn backless frames (I love that the wall color shows through).  The chair may look familiar, it was my Granny's chair that we used to have in the foyer downstairs before we redid it.  We had it reupholstered and found a ticking stripe pillow at Home Goods to finish it off.  I'd love to find a little table for beside the chair.

A little closer look.  We added a ruffle this time, and I love it!

View from doorway.  I am still trying to find new lamps for our night stands.  Just haven't found the right ones yet.  Hubby likes traditional, and I would love to find some better suited for reading! The bedding is from Pottern Barn (Cloud Quilt in Ivory), Fishermen's knit Euro Shams (Ivory).  Sheets-Organic from Target (love these).  Decorative pillows and throw-Nordstrom (love the pop of coral).

Close up of ledge shelf (Pottery Barn) above the bed.  The coral and little glass box filled with seashells is from Pottery Barn as well.  The vases from Southern Living at Home.  Books-LuAnne Rice (Safe Harbor/Sandcastles/?)  Great beach reads and fit the decor perfectly.

Close up of bedding.

Hope you enjoyed the tour.  As I said, there are still a few more things I'd like to do in the room but overall am really happy with the way it turned out.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Master Bathroom~

While I am still tweaking a few things (mainly storage and accessories), I thought I would go ahead and share some pictures of our Master Bathroom.  Yes, I know, FINALLY!

His Side

Relax sign made out of old cedar fence board.

My Side

Garden tub and new drawer unit to store medicine and such. Rug purchased in Savannah.

Pottery Barn cubby.  A place to keep essential bath products.

I love storing my makeup brushes this way, easy to grab, and cuts down on the powder dust in my makeup drawer!

A few other bath essentials.  Tray-Pottery Barn, Marble Soap Dish-Home Goods.

I love using clear glass vases with dried peas/beans to house candles.  Candle-gift from hubby.

Apothecary jar filled with more bath goodies.

To the left of our garden tub is a walk in shower (forgot to get a picture), and to the right is our water closet.  Our master closet is off to the left of the shower as well (that is a work in progress).  Our bathroom is a good size, not too small not too large.  I have to clean it afterall!  We recently had the frames added around the mirrors, and it made such a huge difference.  I painted them out to match the cabinets I had done a couple years ago...chocolate brown and distressed just a bit.

Hope to have some pics of the Master Bedroom in progress to show you  tomorrow.  I am having a hard time finding those last few pieces for several rooms, but if I wait to find those you all may never get to see pictures!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gallery Walls

Today, I thought I would show you one of the MANY gallery walls we have in our home.  This one is a series of pictures we had taken of our daughters several years back.  As most of you know, the older one cheered in high school, the other plays volleyball.  However, in some of the photos they are reversed.  Our photographer thought it would be fun for the girls to switch.  Let's just say, our oldest swam in her 5'8" (at the time) sister's uniform while the youngest could barely squeeze into her 5'4" sister's.  But, they had a great time poking fun at each other's sport and making funny faces.  We also had some taken of the girls in their miscellaneous medical braces (boot for an ankle, crutches, knee brace, sling).  The reason was...both girls sustained severe injuries from their respective sports that year.  The oldest injured her foot while tumbling, no tears, no breaks, but the worst foot despite that fact that her ortho doc had ever seen (to this day it is still not the same)...the youngest threw out her shoulder diving for a ball in their final tournament in April, rehab didn't help, so we faced surgery that July and more rehab, she also had a knee injury that year!  For their Christmas cards that year we used a picture of each in uniform and the one of them together with their "braces"...we chronicled the year for all of our faraway family and friends.  They still laugh about that card til this day!!  The girls had a grand time hamming it up, and these have become some of our favorite shots of them.

I like to use uniform frames, all the same color with the same matting.  I am a VERY simple, symetrical person...I like clean lines!

Here are some of the shots close up...

Come and get it...

Yes, we really did do it this time!

Hey, That's my uniform!


Don't even...

oh no you don't...

how did mom and dad know that was coming?????

You wouldn't dare!???
Disclaimer:  Neither child ever once hit the other, bit the other nor spit on the other!  Truly, they had the best time taking these pictures.  I have never seen them laugh so hard.  And, three years later they still laugh about it.

So, when it comes to gallery like to keep things simple or mix them up?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Blooms

I love summertime.  Not so much this awful heat, but I really love summer flowers.  Here are a few of my favorites.

Hope you are all staying cool!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Birthday Antics~

Ok, so when you've reached my age...what do you do for party entertainment?  Well, my sweet hubby took me out for a nice dinner at one of our favorite local restaurants, Thorn Tree.  The owner is the best, Lowell Douglas.  The restaurant is full of  taxidermy from the many hunts Lowell has been on.  He even used to work for National Geographic.  Ok, so where is this going, you might ask?  When we were just about finished up with dinner, Lowell stopped by our table.  My hubby mentioned it was my birthday.  Lowell immediately said, we have to celebrate!  He brought each of us a glass of Amarulo (I liken it to an amaretto liquor or Baileys).  He then asked us if we were familiar with the story of the Marulo tree.  To which we replied we were not.  Well, the Marulo tree produces this glorious fruit, and when a bit over ripe, it falls to the ground and the animals in Africa gorge themselves on it.  Apparently, once the animals drink the fruit then begins to ferment in their tummies...let's just ain't a pretty sight...
Lowell said, "go ahead, google drunken elephants when you get home."  I have never laughed so hard in my life.  True or not, thanks Lowell for the chuckle on my birthday!!

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To...

Well...not really!  It is however my birthday, I am the big 43 today!  Yes, I am willing to admit it...I am already over the either roll baby roll, or learn to climb this mountain!  Honestly...I'm stuck in between! LOL  Not sure what's in girl is currently at volleyball camp, and big sis is working her tail that leaves me, hubs, and the dogs...such is life these days.  Good thing I like the dogs! LOL 

I am truly grateful for all the blessings that have been bestowed upon me in the past, and those that I continue to unveil everyday. Each day brings something new.  Never a dull moment, and I wouldn't have it any other way.  While life is taking new turns every day, and sending me in different directions, I am learning to go with the flow.  Maybe I am a bit more adventurous at this stage in the game. 

I am however truly grateful for the many friendships that have been forged due to blogland.  I never imagined the number of beautiful people I would meet!  You all are the best.

And, I promise to eat a really yummy cupcake for each of you (and if I wind up in a sugar induced coma afterward...just promise me that you will all say you enjoyed the ride!).

Monday, July 11, 2011

Phlox and Aster~

Our Phlox and Aster are finally in full bloom.  The Phlox gives off such a sweet scent.  I decided to bring in a few before this hot Georgia heat gets to them, and make a little arrangement for my office.

I love using silver mint julep cups for small arrangements.  The glass Murano candies we brought back from our trip to Italy several years back.  I love the bright colors, and the best thing is they are calorie free!  You can catch a glimpse of the chair we had reupholstered for the room as well. 

Hope you are having a wonderful start to your week!  I am off to have lunch with my girl (well, one of them).

Sunday, July 10, 2011


What would you say if I told you we have new babies at our house?  You'd think I'd been holding out on ya right?  Well, kind of...

No, not these babies...

However, they are ADORABLE!

No, ours are a bit more outdoorsy.  Love water, and spend endless hours in the sun... stumped?

Meet the babies...
And, their siblings (last summer's babies)

And, proud Mom and Pop!

Okay, so we really don't know who's who...I mean, really?  We just assume that the "pretty" orange and white is momma and well, the "big dark guy" is dad...but, we could be VERY wrong!  The babies are easy to tell.  They all started off dark like the Big Guy, but some of last year's babes are starting to show some spectacular colors!  We are super excited.  I gave some of last year's babes to a friend who has a pond, and we may have to do the same this year.  As they get bigger there is only so much room.  My brother has a HUGE pond on his property, so some may find a home there.
Imagine my 21 year old's suprise when she called earlier today and I told her that her dad and I had babies!  She is a blonde afterall! LOL

Hope everyone had a fabulous weekend!  We are still working on the basement, and our youngest starts playing volleyball tomorrow.  We are so proud of her, she is the only girl the coach asked to play on both scrimmage teams!  Thank you to everyone who has asked about or prayed for her...she hasn't had ONE migraine since school letting out (and only one minor headache).  We are hoping she has turned a corner!  She hopes to write an article for the paper in the fall...they usually do several features on student athletes and she wants to get the word out that migraines are real and very difficult to manage.  She is looking forward to her Senior year!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011


When I started this blog, I thought, "I can post everyday"...that didn't happen. Posting  every week hasn't necessarily happened either.  What has happened is LIFE.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  I had to experience the days as the stay at home mom with the sick kid, unexplainable migraines are not a pretty thing. I had to experience the work crew not getting things done on time.  I had to endure the endless, "I am sorry mam, the item you are inquiring about is on back order."  I've had to change plans, redo schedules, and be a WIFE and MOTHER.  And, deal with the separation of my parents, one too many times.  I type all of this to say, I appreciate all who can blog daily, produce great before and afters, but I will be one to comes first for me, and while I'd like to have the daily show and just ain't happening right now.  Life however,  is.  Raw, real, and painful.  We have many projects in the works. Little by little we are accomplishing them.  But, when real life circumstances get placed before us, they come first.  So, for those of you still with me, thank you...the reveals will eventually come, but for now...real life awaits me, and expects an answer.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Summer Goodness & Basement Update~

How those two go together...I really don't know, but it just happened.  We spent most of the morning finishing the installation of the new cabinets and countertops in the craft/workroom in our basement.  The shelving units were installed yesterday.  Then, I decided to get in the kitchen and produce a few dishes for the holiday weekend while I had the chance.  I'm a bit random like that.  Or, maybe it was because I know what is in store for me tomorrow and food cures everything!  Tomorrow will brind sorting, paring down, and putting all that "stuff" back in the "new" room in some semblance of order.  Having munchies on hand when totally stressed out helps! LOL

Homemade Black-eyed pea salsa (with home grown tomatoes)...yum!

1 Can Black Eyed Peas (drain, rinse)
2 Roma Tomatoes
4 Green Onions, chopped
Cilantro (to taste)
3 Tbs. Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbs. Sugar
1/4 C Olive Oil
1/4 tsp. Salt
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno, chopped

Mix together, serve with chips (Scoop Fritos/Tostitos work best!)

This is one of my fav summer dips!  And, getting to use my own home grown tomatoes makes it even better.  I usually double the recipe, especially for parties.  Easy to make ahead and keeps for several days!

Boiled Peanuts!  Yes, I am a Southern Girl (transplanted via my parents from NY, Long Island, at the ripe old age of 10).  They are so easy to make in a crockpot.

Raw Peanuts (about 2 lbs or so)

Place in crockpot and fill with enough water to cover.  Add:  Kosher Salt, about a 1/4 cup.  A couple splashes of white vinegar.  And, approx. 2 or 3 Tbs. of Old Bay Seasoning.  All can be adjusted to taste.  We start them out on high for the first several hours, then turn to low and let simmer for at least 8 hours.  Drain, and cool in frig.  Store in airtight container or Ziploc bag.

Pesto Dipping Sauce and Cibatta Bread!  YUM!!  Okay, this is NOT for the faint of heart or for anyone who cannot resist a fresh loaf of Cibatta bread! 

Minced Garlic, approx. 2-3 cloves
Basil, minced, approx. 2-3 leaves
Oregano, chopped, a couple sprigs
Red Pepper Flakes, 1/2 tsp, more if you like it hot!
Pine Nuts, chopped, 1-2 Tbs.
Kalamatta Olives, chopped, approx. 4-6
Olive Oil
Sea Salt, to taste
Parmesan Cheese, grated, 1-2 tsp.

Mix ingredients together.  I usually add all ingredients and then add the Olive Oil last to cover.  Serve with the Cibatta bread.  Warning:  This dip is ADDICTIVE!!!  I am not responsible for any weight gained due to your consumption.

Oh, and the hard boiled eggs are awaiting the Devil in the morning (my hubby's fav).  Why do I feel a serious diet coming on??!!!

Okay, we DID actually get some hard work completed (not sure I burned enough calories to warrant eating all the other stuff, but I digress...)

All the storage pieces are IN!  Now it is time to sort, organize, and get everything back into place.  Okay...I feel the munchies coming on again...

Have a GREAT 4th Everyone!!  Hope to be back with the final reveal of the craft/workroom on Tuesday!