Friday, August 29, 2014

Five on Friday

Time for Five on Friday! 

1. Dropping stuff stinks- It's been really quiet around this blog. Dropping and breaking BOTH my phone and my computer within 5 minutes of each other might have something to do with it.  Seriously! That was not a good day. Thankfully,  my replacement phone came in, but we are still waiting on the computer we ordered to arrive. Thanks for your patience, everyone! In the meantime,  we are getting estimates on the yard project and I'm cooking up a mini bathroom makeover!  Stay tuned! 

2. Prayers answered- My best friend's sweet (and ridiculously cute) little newborn had to have major surgery this week. I've been dreading it for weeks.  God was faithful! The surgery went well and he is smiling and doing well! Please continue to pray for their family as he heals and they care for him at home!

3. Archer Farms Dulce de Leche Latte K Cups- So good!  Try them! 
Archer Farms K-Cups Dulce de Leche Latte 16ct
4. Wrightsville Beach- We made our yearly trek to the beach last weekend.  We always enjoy Wrightsville Beach, NC.  Ample parking,  nice sand,  not over crowded,  and not too far from the aquarium at Kure Beach. I wouldn't call myself a beach bum or anything (even though I did grow up in South Florida) but I love the beach.  It is so relaxing.  When I'm there,  all I want to do is sit in the water letting the waves wash over my feet and just breathe.  No technology,  no cleaning,  no stressing, no whining,  no schedules... just be.
5. New Gatorade commercials- have you seen the new commercial series Gatorade has with Cam Newton and Peyton Manning? Hilarious!  This one is my favorite.  The only thing that would make it better is if you replaced Cam Newton with Tom Brady.  Duh. ;) 

Happy weekend, everyone!

Image credits: Target and Wikipedia

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Big Ole List: 2014 Edition

I was thinking it was about time for an update to The Big Ole List I posted last year. When I pulled it up, I realized I posted that list almost exactly one year ago today. I was only 3 days off! Man, my internal calendar is good! ;)

I went through the list and crossed off the things we accomplished and added new things to the list. I also removed a couple items that we decided not to do. For more on each project, click the room name to pull up all the posts in that category.

Front Porch:

-Redo rocking chairs
-Hang a swing
-Put plants on either side of door
-Hang a wreath
-Grow a vine on the sides for privacy

Side note: Thanks for all the love regarding our front porch! It's my most viewed blog post and my most pinned project on Pinterest! You all are awesome!

Front and Side Yards:

-Put in natural stone edging
-Redo some of the bushes in front and side
-Plant a cherry tree out front (We found a cherry tree after season at Home Depot for 75% off! We only paid $10 for it! So far, it's doing fine, but because we bought it after season, we're worried about how it'll do when it gets cold. Thankfully, Home Depot has a year warranty, so if it dies, we can exchange it! 

Back Yard:

-Level yard. This is a HUGE project that we would have to hire out, but would give us much more usable yard space. Our house is on a hill, so part of the yard has a steep slope. We would love to put in a new retaining wall and build up the hill to make it even with the rest of our yard, then fence the entire yard in. (This project is on the books for 2015! Eeep!)
-Plant an Autumn Blaze and a fruit tree after yard project is complete.
-Possibly build a small swing set

Back Deck:

-Purchase a couple large planters to garden in.
-Purchase a deck table with umbrella for shade.
-New door mat and decorative plants.
-Eventually, we'd love to turn the deck into a covered porch or sunroom.

Living Room:

-Hang curtains for privacy (phase 1)
-Replace couch pillows for existing couches
-Purchase rug
-Decorate wall above couch
-Eventually replace shades with plantation shutters and possibly get rid of curtains (phase 2)  We tweaked this idea. More on this soon!
-Replace couches (Phase 2)
-Finish large scale decoration for above fireplace (Phase 1)
-Purchase new couch pillows in light blues, light greens, and khakis (after new couches)
-New end table

-New rug
-Add planking above fireplace
-Wire TV cords above fireplace
-Replace TV
-New artwork for above couch
-Replace boob light with ceiling fan

Entry Way:

-Purchase entry table
-Replace temporary shade with something permanent 
-Decorate walls
-Purchase new rug

Dining Room:

-Redo table and chairs
-Hang curtains
-Purchase buffet/cabinet
-Decorate walls (about halfway done on this one)
-Eventually put in board and batten

-New Lighting Fixture


-Reorganize drawers
-Hang organizer for baggies and wraps

-Add shelving inside cabinets for tiered storage
-Install pull out shelves for pantry cabinet

Breakfast Nook:

-Install plantation shutters on door
-Purchase new table and sell old table
-Purchase bar stools
-Build banquette for storage

Laundry Closet:


-Replace shelving

Downstairs Bath:

-Purchase new shower curtain and towels
-Install hooks for guests to hang towels on
-Replace toilet
-Replace vanity and sink?
-Replace tile floors
-Install blinds

-Hang artwork


-Repaint room and add striped accent wall
-Replace window coverings
-Replace or repaint counters OR remove built in unit for better room layout
-Reorganize closet and build shelves
-Hang gallery wall
-Hang kid artwork
-Replace gold boob light

-Replace car rug
-Purchase seating

Coat Closet:

-Purchase shoe shelf
-Hang hooks for scarves

Linen Closet:


Master Bedroom:

-Replace curtains
-Purchase chair for corner
-Install bedside lighting
-Replace gold boob light with ceiling fan
-Replace vinyl shades
-Hang all hanging art and frames (there's nothing on the walls right now!) Still nothing on the walls. OYE!

Master Bathroom:

-Decorate walls
-Replace vinyl shade with plantation shutters
-Hang a shelf
-Replace toilet

-Paint vanity
-Frame mirror or replace with two mirrors
-Hang hooks 
-New caulk and new grout in shower
-New lighting fixtures

Little Boy's Room

-Hang blackout curtains
-Replace vinyl shades with 2" blinds
-Replace lighting with ceiling fan and move existing lighting to playroom
-Hang artwork
-Hang shelf
-Reorganize closet and hang more shelves 

-Paint Shelves
-Build bed rails
-Purchase end table

Little Girl's Nursery:

-Empty Closet (almost done!)
-Install board and batten
-Replace vinyl shades with 2" blinds or blackout roman shades
-Hang curtains
-Purchase new dresser
-Purchase bedding
-Purchase rug
-Reorganize closet
-Replace hardware and door handles
-Replace gold boob light with ceiling fan

-Paint Closet
-Replace outlets

Kid Bath:

-Repaint walls
-Repaint trim
-Hang new shower curtain
-Hang artwork
-Replace vinyl shade with 2" blinds or plantation shutters


-Replace vinyl shades with 2" blinds
-Move guest bedroom furniture into office

-Purchase appliances
-Hang artwork
-Install digital thermostat

Office Bath:

-Frost window
-Hang artwork

Downstairs Hallway:

-Hang artwork

Upstairs Hallway:
-Hang artwork


-Hang shelf
-Purchase locking storage cabinet for chemicals

-Sell remaining items from reorganizing projects on Craigslist
-Hang wall organizers for tall tools like rakes and brooms


-Install digital thermostat upstairs
-Install digital thermostat downstairs

Know what this list screams to me? Hang up some artwork on the walls already, Samantha!!! Haha!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Five on Friday

Here's my Five on Friday!

1. This Rug- Of course, just a couple days after blogging about our finished entryway, I found a rug to finish, finish the entryway. Love it! I couldn't find it online, but it's from Target.
2. Dance Parties- Back when Jeremy and I were dating, he would sing me country songs to try to persuade my hip hop loving heart to like country music. One of the frequent songs he'd sing was Diamond Rio's Meet in the Middle. Now, one of our favorite family things to do is to turn that song up really loud, sing it at the top of our lungs, and dance around the living room with the kids. They think it's hysterical! And our neighbors probably think we're crazy. :) 
3. School Supplies- I just can't stay out of the school supply aisle. The smell of paints and crayons just draws me in and I want to buy it all. As a kid, I loved getting school supplies and would pack, unpack, and repack my backpack a thousand times before school started just so I could look at all the fun supplies. My mom used to have to take them away so I would stay out of them before school started. Then, as a teacher, oh my goodness...the first day of school with eager kids ready to learn and fresh supplies?! Be still my school loving heart. :) Wow, that turned into a bunny trail real quick, huh? 
4. Arizona Green Tea- In a can. Not a bottle. A can. LOVE these! When I was teaching, I drank one a day. But, I got out of that when we moved to NC. I've recently rediscovered them and treat myself to a cold one every week when I go grocery shopping. 
5. This Blanket- Oh my word, this blanket is SO soft! I bought a twin size one for our living room and it is the best blanket ever! It is lightweight, yet warm and the color goes great with our furniture. I also love that it is big enough to cover my entire body, unlike a throw size blanket that is too short to cover your feet. Poor, cold toes. 
Happy weekend, everyone!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Making an Entrance

I realized that I never finished showing you all our entryway! Way back in January, I mentioned that we had ordered an entry table. But, then I did the whole give birth thing and got sidetracked and forgot to show you how it all turned out. ;) So without further ado... our entryway!
I've been playing with different things in this corner since we moved in two years ago. I tried a plant, but it died. I don't think it got enough light. That, or it died because I never watered it. Who knows? :) I also tried my great grandmother's antique end table, but the height was all wrong. So, I ended up purchasing this end table from and absolutely love it! It's the perfect size for this small corner! It's not too wide or deep, but it has a little more height to it than an end table.
I found the mirror last year at Target. The new end table happened to be the exact same rustic gray color!
I love the way it all turned out!
Update--We found a rug! :)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Life Lately

You guys... I'm in a blogging slump. It's not because I haven't been doing stuff around the house, though. I've just been busy and the stuff I've been doing is boring. Seriously. I reorganized our master closet, linen closet, pantry, and we went through the entire attic. Purge was the name of the game and now we have a big pile of stuff in the garage for Goodwill. I feel SO much better now that they're done, but the results are nothing exciting. See? Yup, tidy, but snooze inducing. But, that doesn't stop me from opening the doors and enjoying the cleanness of it all! #dork :)
Where are we with all of our projects, you ask? Well, we are moving about as fast as a snail. Jeremy was asked to speak in DC next month, so instead of putting our money into projects, we are saving the cash to make a family vacation out of his business trip. SO excited about that! We've been to DC once before 2 years ago and have been itching to go back!

Well, that's the update for today. I'll be back soon with something more exciting than boring closet tidying sessions. ;)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Banquette Inspiration

With all of our living room projects going on, our big organizing project has had to take a back seat for a while. But, we've recently picked up some steam, which I'll update you on soon!

There are a couple trouble spots in our house that we are trying to find creative solutions to organize. One of those trouble spots is our breakfast nook. We come in and out of the house through this room all the time, so it becomes the drop zone. I so wish we had a mud room to go through before you hit the breakfast nook, but no such luck. Tools, shoes, mail, returns, library books all end up in here. We hardly ever eat at this table, but we do use the table frequently to paint, play board games, play with play-dough, color, etc. So, we are working on ways to help our breakfast nook serve dual purposes and act as a combined mudroom and eating area. Here's a reminder of how the room looks now. Excuse the bad, old picture. ;)
Jeremy had a great idea to put in banquette seating with lids that flipped up and have built in storage underneath. We could use it to store our shoes, frequently used tools, kids bags, and even board games! We've been discussing how we would build it and have been planning it all out. Mad props to my hubby for coming up with a great storage solution!

I've been scouring the web for some inspiration, specifically looking for banquettes that do not have a back, instead have low windows behind them like ours will have. Enjoy a few of my favorites!
Images via Cococozy
Can't wait to get to work on this project! But, gotta save up the cash first! :)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Living Room Makeover: A Change and a New Plan

Tell me this happens to you... You start one project and it rolls into another one before you finish the original project? Anyone?!

We had tackled the new furniture, new rug, new drum stool, new pillows and end table, new curtains, and had finally finished the last thing--painting. We should be done with the living room, right? Insert maniacal laughter here. ;)
As we were clearing our living room out to paint, Jeremy mentioned wanting to move the TV over the fireplace. He's mentioned this for years, but I'm not a huge fan of the idea. We had a giant TV cut out over our fireplace in our last home and always hated it. It drove me bonkers, especially when we still had an old TV. Even with a newer TV, it was still a big dust and cord pit. If we stayed there, we would have built some doors or something because it drove me nuts. Here's an old picture of Jeremy and I back at our old house. You can kind of see the TV pit in the background. Arg. On a random note, I'm not a huge fan of my hair in this picture, but it really gives me the itch to chop all my hair off!
Every time Jeremy mentioned moving the TV above the fireplace in this house, I cringed because all I could visualize was our previous TV pit. However, as we were moving furniture out of the living room, we were really enjoying how spacious the living room was looking. He convinced me to try moving the TV so we could put our new chair in the corner where the TV was. It would open up an entire wall! After we painted, I agreed to give it a test run and I'm sold. He wins! ;) I love all the open space we have now!
It didn't come without compromise, though. I wasn't sold on the look of the TV above the fireplace. It looked really dark up there and kind of got lost. But after some brainstorming, I thought some bright white planking would brighten things up and make the TV look more intentional up there. Here was some of my inspiration that I've loved over the years.
Jeremy liked that idea, so that's where we're headed next! Here's how it's looking right now. Basically, it's a giant, undecorated, tangled up mess. 
Gorgeous, right? Ha! I have no idea why the coloring is so weird in these pictures! Gray walls are tricky to photograph!
Because this is an unexpected project that we haven't saved for yet and we do all of our projects with cash, it will need to happen in two phases to give us time to save up.

Phase 1: We'll add planking from the mantle to the ceiling and replace our black cords with white cords to make them a teeny bit easier on the eyes. 

Phase 2: We'll replace our TV with a larger TV that is easier to see from the couch. We'll wall mount it and have it wired so there will be no cords showing. Yay!

Can't wait to get started on the planking this weekend!